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VJW Coaches Bring "Unique" Professional Experiences to the Program
Untitled Documentbruins_stanleycupFor the first time since since 1972, the hometown team has  captured Lord Stanley's sacred cup. Although Boston has always been a "hockey town", it seems as if everyone across the state is finally embracing the black and gold.

There is no question that the hundreds of young hockey players who take part in the Valley Jr Warriors program are among those who have been glued to their television set (or for those lucky enough... taking in a game live at the TD Bank Garden) each game. In fact, many players have replaced their Warriors jerseys with their personal Bruins jerseys during pick-up games in hopes that they might someday be the next Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron, Tim Thomas, Brad Marchard or Zdeno Chara.

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From top: Bob Sweeney, Bob Carpenter and Steve Leach

The Warriors are fortunate to have a handful of former Bruins players - Bob Sweeney, Steve Leach and Bob Carpenter - who take time out of their busy schedules to coach VJW teams. They have a unique insight into what these professional players are going through and how they were able to achieve their personal and team goals.

"Until the third period they have been close and it has been a good series," said Sweeney, who was drafted the Boston Bruins out of high school in 1982 and who currently serves as the director of development for the Boston Bruins Foundation. "The home team has been the better team at their venue. In Vancouver the games have been a lot closer, but the home team has had the advantage when they are on the ice so the Bruins are going to have to figure out how to win on the road which is always challenging, especially in this situation."

Sweeney has been a fixture in the VJW program for years, most recently as the head coach of the VJW '00 Elite squad. There is no one who knows better what the Bruins players are going through. After all, Sweeney played for the Bruins for six seasons and led the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1988 and 1990. Following a 15-year professional career, Sweeney has maintained his connection to his home team (he is a Bay State native who enjoyed a successful career at Boston College) as president of the Boston Bruins Alumni Association.

He has been joined over the years by Leach and Carpenter. Leach was a 1984 NHL Draft choice of the Washington Capitals who - over theå course of his six-year career - played for the Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, Ottawa Senators, Phoenix Coyotes and the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has been a mainstay with the VJW '99 Elites for several years. He - along with  VJW Director of Player Development Fred Devereaux - currently serve as scouts for NHL programs.

There are few who also don't know of Bob Carpenter, who joined the VJW staff in 2006. The former VJW director of program development who now serves as an assistant coach for the Junior B squad, was the third overall selection in the 1981 NHL Draft and the first U.S. player ever to be selected in the top five. Carpenter set a record for American-born players with 53 goals and 95 points in his fourth season and was named to the NHL All-Stars and Canada Cup teams. Carpenter also captured three Stanley Cups (1995, '00, '03) while playing for New Jersey Devils.

All three coaches realize that the Stanley Cup run by the Boston Bruins is not only good for the area, but it is an opportunity for the young players to watch great hockey.

"When you get to the playoffs and then to the Stanley Cup Finals the intensity is over the top," said Sweeney, who just returned home from Vancouver. "The message you try to give the kids is that every shift you are out there, you have to make a difference and be aware of where you are at every moment. Obviously, that concept gets magnified at the professional level because the games are so tight and intense."

One lesson that some players have learned recently is that team comes before anything else. Sweeney's team had to miss part of the playoff run due to a scheduling conflict with their own Valley Spring League game. In true "Warrior" fashion, those players took care of their own business - they have won four of their five Spring League games - before returning home to cheer on their home team!

INDEX
VJW Coaches Bring "Unique" Professional Experiences to the Program
Time to Come Home - By Mike Lynch
Little Big Men - By Mike Lynch
Chris Kreider & Team USA Fall In Quarterfinals Against Czech Republic
VJW Players Eager to Hit the Ice Again
Remember, So You Will Never Forget - By Mike Lynch
VJW Star Chris Kreider Named to 2011 U.S. National Team
Success Measured - By Mike Lynch
Ram Tough - By Mike Lynch
VJW All-Star Colin Blackwell Continues to Shine On & Off the Ice
VJW Junior B's Tyler Sifferlin Passes Freshman Test
The VJW Super Six - Eiserman, Blackwell, Irving and Kulevich
17 Former VJW Players Compete in 2011 Super 8 Finals
Former VJW Standout Joe Cucci Leads Merrimack to NCAA Tournament
Rebel With a Cause - By Mike Lynch
VJW '01 Elites Deliver Impressive NEHL Championship Victory
VJW '97 Elites Cap Off Another Impressive Season With an NEHL Title
King of the Hill - By Mike Lynch
VJW '97 Elites Capture 2011 New England Hockey League Title
VJW Junior A Season Comes to An End; Falls in EJHL Quarterfinals
VJW Junior A Team Advances to EJHL Quarterfinals
VJW Junior A Team Skates to Key Playoff Win over Revolution
VJW '99 Selects Raise Money For a Family Cause
VJW Mite Minors Win 2011 NEHL Mite National Title
Save the Date - 2011 VJW Tournament Dates Released
On Top of His World - By Mike Lynch
Former VJW Standout Chris Kreider Named Beanpot MVP
Darcy, Silk Help Team USA Win 2011 Vlad Dzurilla Tournament
VJW Players Recognized by the New England Hockey League
Former VJW Junior A Star Joe Cucci Leads Merrimack to Record Season
VJW Accepting Coaches Applications for 2011-2012 Season
Fire Still "Burns" - By Mike Lynch
VJW Junior A Team Wins Two Out of Three During Key League Weekend
VJW '98 Elites Ice League-Leading Middlesex Braves, 2-1
VJW Mite Major Elites Score 2nd Place Finish at JWK Tournament
VJW Mite Minors Wow the TD Bank Garden Crowd
VJW '96 Elite Players Continue to Lead on High School Stage
Sarig, Braun, Heinze & Nazarian Selected as Junior All Stars
VJW '97 Elites Headline This Weekend's AAA SuperSeries Event
VJW '99 Selects Ring in the New Year at the 2011 Bell Capital Cup
Chris Kreider Named Player of the Game for Team USA
A Beautiful Day - By Mike Lynch
VJW Junior B Ara Nazarian Is the Empire League's Rising Star
VJW Junior A Team Notches Two League Wins Against the Glades
Cameron Darcy Leads U.S. at World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
Former VJW Standout Chris Kreider Is A Force for Team USA
VJW Mite Minors Take on "Biggest" Foe of the Season
Just Added... 2011 AAA SuperSeries Schedule Now Available
The Right Stuff - By Mike Lynch
VJW Players Take Time to Give Back During the Holiday Season
Five VJW Junior Bs Make Varsity High School Hockey Teams
Warriors End 2010 On a Winning Note Against the Glades
Chris Kreider Highlights U.S. National Junior Team Preliminary Roster
VJW Junior A Team Blanks Apple Core at 10th Annual Invitational Showcase
VJW Alumni In the News - UMass-Dartmouth's Valley Fivesome
Fitzgerald ('97 Elites) & Sweeney ('01 Elites) Named Players of the Week
Heads Up For Kelsey - By Mike Lynch
VJW Junior A Standout John Jackson Earns EJHL Weekly Honor
Noah Hanifan Named NEHL Player of the Week
VJW '00 Selects Collect Bronze Medals at Can/Am Challenge Cup
Host Teams Perform Well at 2010 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
Teams Prepare for 2010 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
VJW Junior A Team Enjoys Two-Game Win Streak
Anthony Aresco & Jack Cronin Earn NEHL Weekly Honor
No Hazing Zone - by Mike Lynch
VJW Junior A Team Caps Off Another Warrior Classic
VJW U16 IIs Continue Winning and Championship Ways
VJW Teams Perform Well at 2010 Bauer Invitational
EJHL & Independent Teams Prepare for 15th Warrior Classic
Annie Grab Your Stick - By Mike Lynch
Longtime VJW Standout Colin Blackwell Commits to Harvard
'96 Elites Jump Out to an Impressive Start
97 Elites Off to Fast, Unbeaten Start
Longtime VJW Standout Colin Blackwell Commits to Harvard for 2012 Season
Warrior Teams Off to a Fast and Fun Start
Retiring Coaches Honored at Golf Tourney
AAA SuperSeries Comes to Haverhill in 2010
VJW '99 Selects Make a Difference On and Off the Ice