U10 – E9 Championships
Haverhill Valley Forum was the host site for the Elite 9 Girls Hockey League Final Four. The #2 seeded Boston Advantage Fighting Crabs jumped out to an early 1-0 as Maddie Manucci tallied up her first goal of the playoffs at the 9:25 mark of the first period. The Golden Seals tried to rally back in the second period and created several key scoring opportunities, but Caroline Murray was solid between the pipes and held off the Seals to lead Advantage fighting Crabs to a 1-0 victory and a spot in the Sunday Finals against #1 seed Valley Jr. Warriors.
The Warriors followed up on a strong offensive performance Saturday and jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the Championship Game with 1 goal from Carlson and a pair of quick strikes by Norton in the opening period. The Boston Advantage controlled the play throughout the second period and rallied back with a pair of goals just 40 seconds apart by Mallory Harold and Chloe Crabtree. The Warriors answered back in the opening minutes of the third period as Reilly fed Davidson who banged it home to regain a 2-goal cushion with 12 minutes remaining. The Advantage fighting Crabs had an opportunity to rally back with a 5 on 3 powerplay in the final two minutes, but Hincliffe turned back the barrage as the Jr. Warriors captured the first E9 Girls League Championship.
U12 – E9 Championships
The first semi-final game between #1 Valley Jr. Warriors and #4 Boston Americans was a hard-fought defensive battle as the Warriors carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on an unassisted goal by Roeder. The Americans generated a couple opportunities early in the second period, but the Warriors took advantage of some odd man rushes as McTeague, Marsters and Petisce all found the back of the net to give the Warriors a berth to the Championship Game.
The Boston Advantage Fighting Crabs had a back and forth battle with 3rd seed Golden Seals, but jumped out to an early lead on goals from CC Flynn and Sawyer Merrill. The Golden Seals rallied back in the closing minutes of the second period as Sienna Bracket set up Ella Bates who made it a 2-1 game. The Fighting Crabs answered back with 2 quick strikes form Mary Murray and Hannah D’Angelo to seal the victory and a spot in the Championship Game.
The U12 E9 Final provided all the excitement and drama that was expected as the #9 team in the country Valley Jr. Warriors squared off against #2 seed Advantage Fighting Crabs. The first and second period were very evenly played with both teams generating many scoring chances, but Kuczek and Hajjar stole the show between the pipes and kept the game at a 0-0 tie through the first two periods. The game remained that way until the 12:50 mark of the third period when Abby Walles threw a puck on net that was re-directed and found its way to the back of the net to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead with just 2:10 remaining to play. The Boston Advantage looked to rally back with their top line creating several opportunities, but the Warriors were able to take advantage of the aggressive play and caught the Advantage on an odd man rush and Brooke Harb banged home a Lauren Roeder rebound to make it a 2-0 game with 1:22 to play. The Advantage pulled Hajjar for an extra skater and created a couple of scoring opportunities, but Abbie Poole was able to add an open netter as the Valley Jr. Warriors skated on to capture the E9 Girls League Championship.
The U14 Boston Advantage Fighting Crabs traveled to St. Louis to play in the NGHL Playoffs this past weekend. The girls got off to a slow start and lost to the St. Louis Jr Blues 5-3 in their opening game. BA dug deep in game 2 against Ironbound and came back from a 3-1 deficit with 5 minutes left. After scoring 2 late goals to tie the game, they went into a shootout. Goalie Emily Lavalee shut the door on both shooters she faced, while Georgia Carragher and Wren Abboud buried their chances and helped the team capture the victory. The BA Fighting Crabs built on this momentum and won their next games over Chicago Fury (3-1) and then the KC Storm (4-1) to advance to the championship game against the same strong Tier 1 St. Louis Blues team that got the best of them in their preliminary round game.
It was a see-saw battle, started off by BA’s Ali Melvin, who opened the scoring 8 seconds into the game. After the Blues tied it, Georgia Carragher put BA up 2-1. The Blues once again tied the game up. Goals by Wren Abboud and Pippa Jiranek had BA up 4-2 before seeing the Blues scored two late goals to tie the game four aside. The game looked to be going into OT until, with 10 seconds to go in the game, Wren Abboud received a pass from Reese Pompeo for a breakaway. With the game on her stick, Wren fended off a defender and lifted a shot over the goalie’s blocker to win the game with only a few seconds left on the clock!
The Springfield Rifles are excited to announce that Bill Wright, the head coach of the UMass-Amherst Women’s Hockey team, has been named the Director of Girls Hockey Operations for the Rifles.
Wright was born and raised in North Bay Ontario, Canada, where he played AAA youth hockey. Wright then played Junior B for the Waterloo Siskins before he entered the Ontario Hockey League with the North Bay Centennials.
Wright played Canadian Collegiate hockey at York University and University of New Brunswick before he began his professional career in Germany, Italy, as well as the WPHL with Waco, Shreveport and Amarillo.
Wright has coached girls U12 and U14 for the past 4 years. all while being head coach of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Women’s Hockey team for the past 8 seasons — reaching the national tournament 6 times in 7 years.
The U12 Boston Americans traveled to Waterville, NH for the Deep Freeze hockey tournament over the weekend of 1/31 – 2/2.
The Americans started the tournament by playing Winchester. BA were firing on all cylinders and took a commanding 6-0 lead after the first period. The second and third periods were tighter, but the Americans added another 3 goals to cruise to a 9-1 win.
The second game of the tournament was against the North Shore Vipers. The Americans were up 3-2 after the first period, but gave up two quick goals in the second. The Vipers added two more in the third and won by a final of 6-3.
The third game of the tournament was played against the New England Pride. After losing to the Vipers, the Americans came out fast and controlled the first period by scoring three unanswered goals. BA’s added three more in the second period, while only giving up one. The third period was played very even with the Americans adding a seventh goal and winning 7-1.
The fourth game of the tournament was against CSB Hawks out of Burlington, VT. Similar to the Pride game, the Americans got on top and never looked back. After controlling much of the game, the team went on to earn a 7-1 victory.
With a 3-1 record, the championship game was set up to be a rematch with the Vipers. The Vipers came out and scored two quick goals in the first period. The Americans fought back by scoring one goal, but ended up giving up a third later in the contest. NS Vipers won the final game by a score of 3-1.
Great effort by the Americans all weekend!
The weekend of January 16th – 20th, the U12 Tier 1 Valley Jr. Warriors traveled to Tampa Bay to compete against many of the top U12 teams in the country.
The Warriors opened up the tournament against the Cleveland Lady Barons and got off to a fast start and tallying 4 goals in the first period and never looked back, posting a 4-0 win. The following morning the Jr. Warriors faced off against #7 ranked Team Illinois and jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. However, Illinois responded with a strong second period to open up a 3-1 lead and added an empty netter in the final minute to post a 4-1 win.
Later that evening afternoon the Warriors faced top 15 team in the country, #12 Chicago Young Americans. Once again the Warriors jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first period on goal by Lilly McInerney. Chicago answered back with goal in the second and then Cara Kuczek, shut down the Young Americans from that point on to preserve a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation play. In the shootout, Brooke Harb scored on the first shot and Cara Kuczek made 3 straight saves to give VJW a 2-1 shootout win. With a 1-1-1 record, the next game against St. Louis Lady Blues was going to be very important. The Warriors started off fast again and Mia Lava scored on the second shift of the game. The Blues were able to rally back and respond on two separate occasions for a 2-2 tie at the end of regulation. The Warriors were on the other side of the shootout this time and lost by one goal to post 1-1-2 record in round robin play.
With 6 overall points after 4 games, the Warriors received the 7th seed going into the quarterfinals and were slotted for a rematch against the 2nd seed and #7 nationally, Team Illinois. The Warriors were ready for the challenge and put everything they had on the line. Lauren Roeder scored for the team in the second period to take a 1-0 lead. VJW skated fast all game and Kuczek was strong between the pipes as the Warriors held Illinois off the scoreboard to earn the 1-0 win. The win over Team Illinois put the Warriors in the semi-finals against the #3 team in the nation, MA Spitfires. This was going to be another big test for the Warriors and the Spitfires got on the board first with an early strike. In the second period, the Warriors found their game and played hard all the way to the final buzzer. Unfortunately, the Warriors could not find the back of the net and after hitting two posts in the third period, they lost by a final score of 1-0. After all the results this weekend, the Jr. Warrior U12 team has now taken over the # 11 ranking in the United States.
Great effort all weekend by the team!
The Boston Advantage U12 Fighting Crabs won the inaugural NGHL MLK Showcase held at Pilgrim Arena. The Fighting Crabs began the showcase against a strong Boston Advantage Golden Seals team. It was a back and forth one goal contest through most of the first 2 periods, with the Fighting Crabs pulling away in the 3rd period for the win. The next 2 games they faced teams from New Jersey, The Union Thunder and the New Jersey Devils. The Fighting Crabs won both contests with a combined score of 16-0. The fourth game against a very solid Boston Jr Eagles team went back and forth. Both teams scored in the final two minutes of the game to send it to a shootout, where the Jr Eagles earned the win after 4 rounds.
The Fighting Crabs then faced that same Jr Eagles team in the championship, where the Fighting Crabs controlled play throughout the game to win 3-0 and take home the trophy. The Fighting Crabs goalie, Alex Hajjar, allowed 1 goal in 5 games, and the rest of the team combined for 24 goals for and 1 against. It was an impressive first showcase for the Boston Advantage U12s.
The U12 Valley Jr. Warriors entered into two tournaments over the Holiday break (the Islanders Holiday Fest and Tourney In The Woods) and took home two championships!
The Warriors started out tournament play against the North Shore Vipers in the Islanders Holiday Fest. The team got off to a fast start and ended up winning the game by a score of 2-0. The second game of the tournament was against the Hartford Wolfpack. The Warriors controlled most of the game and came away with a 4-0 win. This win clinched a spot in the championship game, but the Warriors still had to play the Islanders in the third game of the tournament. After another strong performance, VJW ended up with a 3-0 win. The championship game was a rematch with the Islanders that same day. The Islanders came out fast and scored a late goal in the first period. Warriors responded in the second with a three goal effort to take a 3-1 lead into the third. The game ended 4-1 as the Warriors won the Islanders Holiday Fest Championship.
In between the Islanders Fest games, the Warriors were playing in the Tourney In The Woods – held at Lawrence Academy and the Groton School. The Warriors first game was against the Worcester Jr. Railers – resulting in a 3-0 win. The second game of the tournament was played against the CT Icehawks. VJW came away with a 1-0 win in a very tight game. The third game of the tournament was with CYA (Groton, MA) and the Warriors stayed undefeated by winning 2-1. The fourth game was shaping up to be the first of two against the Boston Jr. Rangers. Warriors carried a 3-1 lead late into the third period, but ended up tying 3-3. The championship game was now going to be against the Rangers again. VJW put together a very strong first period and won the game 2-0. This gave the Warriors there second championship of the week!
After playing nine games in just a few days, Warriors finished with an 8-0-1 record while scoring 21 goals and giving up 5. Congratulations to our U12 Valley Jr. Warriors on winning both the Islanders Holiday Fest and Tourney In The Woods Championships!