The regular season has come to an end and once again the Jr Warriors program has proven to be one of the strongest in the region! Following a season in which two of its teams earned the right to compete in USA Hockey Nationals and another captured a 2008 NEHL title, the future is certainly bright for scores of young players looking to take their game to the next level.
The ’95 Elites matched that feat last weekend with an impressive 5-2 win over Dual State in the 2008 Massachusetts State Championship title game. The PeeWee Major Elites finished with an impressive regular-season record of 45-9-5 (28-2-3 Mass Select League) and cruised through the state playoffs by winning four straight games and outscoring their opponents by an 18-7 margin. As a result of their outstanding play, ’95 Elites will join the ’93 Elites at next month’s USA Hockey Nationals in Hackensack, NJ. Read More
The ’94 Elites program, led by coaches Paul Kurker, Bob Carpenter and Sil Ferreira were one game short of capturing an NEHL Championship. The Warriors were defeated in the title game by a score of 5-2 to the ‘94 Glades. Heading into that contest, the Warriors had posted two impressive victories over the ’94 Falcons (7-2) and ’93 Monarchs (3-1) and a hard-fought tie against the Glades. Although the squad was unable to knock off the team from Vermont for the championship, they should be proud of a season which saw them post a 14-6-2 divisional and 21-7-2 overall New England Hockey League record. The team finished the season with an overall record of 33-18-5.
One team that will never forget the end to its season is the ’96 Elites. After finishing second in the New England Hockey League standings with a 14-5-4 record, the team entered the playoffs with something to prove. The Warriors began its title pursuit with a 1-1 tie against the league-leading ’96 Falcons. Following an impressive 5-2 win over the ’96 Glades and a tough 4-2 loss against the ’96 Monarchs, the Warriors found themselves pitted against the Falcons in last weekend’s title game. What ensued was a battle that encapsulated the entire season as they team fought until the very end and pulled out a 7-6 overtime, shoot-out victory. In that final game, Austin Ricci registered one goal and two assists while Nolan Redler and Anthony Cieri both added two critical goals. Bo Bo Carpenter added a goal of his own to help the team keep pace with the Falcons through the end of regulation. Following a scoreless overtime period, the two NEHL foes entered into a shootout where the Warriors prevailed for the Championship victory!
Mark Lissner and Jim Mirages should be proud of their ’97 Elites team. The Warriors came oh-so-close to an NEHL Championship title as they too fell in the final game to another strong Vermont Glades team. The Warriors – who finished with a 16-10-4 New England Hockey League record – knocked off the ’97 Seacoast Spartans (5-2) and ’97 Albany Storm (5-4) before finding themselves on a collision course with the Glades. In the final Round Robin game, the Warriors were edged by the Glades by just one goal… the game winner came with just 19 seconds left on the game clock! The championship game pitted the same two teams against each other and unfortunately the result was the same. The Glades defeated the ’94 Elites by a score of 5-1.
Had it not been for a red-hot ’98 Nashua Panthers team, coach Steve Leach’s ’99 Elites squad may have been able to call themselves champions. In the NEHL Championships, Matt Quercia posted a goal and two assists and Mike Reilly added a goal and an assist to pace his team to a 5-1 win over the ’98 Mill City Monsters. The Warriors would be unable to maintain that type of offensive momentum, however, as they were defeated first by the ’98 Vipers (5-3) and then by the Panthers (4-0) in the semifinals. The Warriors finished the season with a 16-6-2 record in NEHL play.
The ’98 Selects kept pace with the league-leading Neponset Valley River Rats right until the very end. After finishing the regular Massachusetts Select League season with a record of 15-2-1 – just one point back of the River Rats – the two teams entered the all-important state championship. After disposing of the AY Northsars in the semifinals by a score of 3-0, the Warriors faced off against the River Rats in the final game. Although the game was tight throughout, the ’98 Selects fell by a score of 2-1.
Mark Lester enjoyed a strong season with his ’99 Selects as they advanced all the way to the State Championship semifinals. Entering the season, Lester was faced with 15 first-line centers. As the season wore on, the players learned to play all positions which only strengthened the team as a whole. In fact, the ’99 Selects allowed the fewest goals against in the New England Hockey League and was second in that category in the Massachusetts State Select League. Offensively, the wealth was spread around as eight players finished with 10 or more goals and five standouts posted more than 15 goals. Two players capped off the year with a remarkable 30 goals. With a combined league record of 25-5-5, the ’99 Selects finished in first place in New England Hockey League action this season and second in the Massachusetts Select League. The squad posted a combined 195 goals for and 118 goals against.
The season came to an end following a hard-fought, courageous 5-4 loss to the South Shore Dynamos in the semifinals of the Massachusetts State Select League. It took an incredible performance by the Dynamos to knock off the ’99 Selects as the South Shore team went on to capture the overall title the following day.