Fitzgerald & Tringale to compete in All-American Prospects Game
Ryan Fitzgerald (above) and Devin Tringale will compete in the  CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on September 29.
The first puck has not even dropped on the 2012-13 season but many are already taking note of the Valley Jr Warriors Junior A squad.

The notice is more than warranted given that the Warriors advanced – for the second time in two years – to the quarterfinals of the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL) playoffs and earned the most post-season awards of any other team – three.

Added to the mix this year will be an outstanding corps of players that includes two newcomers – Ryan Fitzgerald (North Reading, MA) and Devin Tringale (Medford, MA) who are making national news. Both incoming stars were part of a select group of players who were selected to compete in the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on September 29 in Buffalo, NY.

“We couldn’t be happier for Ryan and Devin and we know that they will represent themselves and the organization well at the [All-American Prospects] Game,’ said Andy Heinze, who picked up his third career EJHL Coach of the Year honor in 2012. “It will be a great way for them to put their talents on display and prepare for our upcoming season in the EJHL.”
The roster boasts 40 of the top American prospects eligible for the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft who were chosen by USA Hockey in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting. Out of the 40 players on the roster, only Fitzgerald and Tringale are active members of the EJHL. The other two league-affiliated participants are recent alumni.

“I am honored to be selected and to play because it is a big deal,” said Fitzgerald. “I am excited and nervous at the same time, but I am definitely looking forward to it. Playing with better kids should be an experience because it is an opportunity to see where we are all at.”

Fitzgerald, whose father Tom played 17 seasons in the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, is coming off another stellar season at Malden Catholic where he netted 52 points and helped the Lancers to their second straight Super 8 title.

“I have known Andy for a while and he is a great guy and I always wanted to have him as a coach,” said Fitzgerald who met Heinze when he played for the Warriors as a youth player. “When the opportunity presented itself to play for Andy, I jumped at it.”

Fitzgerald was confident that Heinze and his talented coaching staff would be able to help Fitzgerald prepare for his next challenge, which will be playing for Boston College during the 2013-14 season. Fitzgerald will follow in the footsteps of another Warrior great – Chris Kreider – who left Chestnut Hill and signed with the New York Rangers earlier this spring.

“Picking Boston College was an easy choice,” said Fitzgerald, who received helpful advice from his cousins Jimmy and and Kevin Hayes who are former and current Eagles players, respectively. “When you grow up in the Boston area, you are usually either a BC or a BU fan and I was always a BC fan. When I got the offer, it wasn’t even a question.”

Before he embarks on that next chapter, however, he is excited to join the Warriors, play for Heinze and wear the same jersey – once again – as his good friend and former teammate Brendan Collier. While at Malden Catholic, Fitzgerald and Collier were linemates and that dynamic duo was an important reason why the Lancers captured back-to-back Super 8 titles. They hope to bring that same magic to the Warriors when they compete for Heinze’s squad.

“The choice to go to the Warriors was unanimous for both of us,” said Fitzgerald. “We are both smart players and we know where each other is on the ice. We have always had a good feel for each other and we mesh well.”

Another big cheerleader for Fitzgerald coming to the Warriors was his younger brother Casey, who currently plays for the VJW ’97 Elites.

“He thought that it was a very good choice,” said Fitzgerald, who will have a chance to watch his brother play for Malden Catholic this winter. “It came down to me having to move away or stay local and this was by far the best choice for our family. I am excited to get started.”

Tringale is another local product who has been working alongside two Warrior players - Collier and Sam Kurker - for several seasons at the Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning Center. Beginning this season, Mike Boyle and his team will be responsible for the strength and conditioning of all VJW players.

“I’ve been working with (Boyle) for the past four summers,” said Tringale, to the New England Hockey Journal. “Boyle’s is an awesome environment. You’re working out with guys you compete against, testing yourself against them. It gets pretty competitive in there, and I think it’s been a great experience for me.”

At 6-feet-1 and 195 pounds, Tringale used his strength and speed to help his Lawrence Academy team to the New England Prep semifinals this past spring. He finished the 2011-2012 season as the team’s leading goal scorer (19 in 31 games) and was second in points with 46.

“…Playing under a highly regarded coach such as Andy Heinze is a great opportunity and something that I look forward to taking advantage of,” said Tringale recently to the College Hockey Prospective. “This is also one of the last chances I’ll have to play with a few teammates that I’ve had great chemistry with in the past and I think this connection will prove to be a positive influence in terms of my development as a player.”

He – like Fitzgerald – has already committed for next season and is excited to suit up for Ted Donato and the Harvard Crimson. He will join former Warrior Colin Blackwell, who is coming off a spectacular freshman campaign in Cambridge.

“I chose to play for the Warriors next year for a number of reasons,” said Tringale. ”First of all, I think that the EJHL is an excellent league and has produced some incredible players and draft picks in the past couple of years.”

To learn more about the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game and to follow the play of Fitzgerald and Tringale, visit the official web site at www.usahockey.com/TopProspectsGame_About.aspx.  
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