It was another amazing Valley Hockey League season which was capped off by exciting and nail-biting championship action at rinks located across the state.
In what was a fitting finale to the season, a record number of 55 overtime games were recorded during playoffs with 13 of them coming in divisional finals. Many teams also showed the league that seedings don’t always play out in the end as five of the lowest seeded teams came through with championship victories.
Leading the charge in that impressive category were the #6-seeded NH East Peewee 1 and Melrose Squirt 1 squads. The NH East Peewee 1s posted a huge 4-2 victory over #5 Nashua Peewee 1 in the Blue South National Division championship game. En route to that victory, the #6 NH East team had to knock off two other higher-seeded teams – #3 Concord Carlisle Peewee 1 and #2 Hollis Peewee 1. Meanwhile, the Melrose Squirt 1s scored five goals to pull out a 5-2 victory over #2 Lexington/Bedford Squirt 1 in Tewksbury on April 10!
Other teams coming through with similar dark-horse wins include #5 Everett Mite 1 (defeated #2 Salem Mite 1), #5 Reading Mite Girls (defeated #3 Chelmsford Mite 2) and #5 Tewksbury Bantam 2 (defeated #3 Salem Bantam 3 in overtime). The Everett Mite 1s and Tewksbury Bantam 2s did not stop there as they went on to win their respective conference championship.
Here are some other highlights from the 2010 VHL Championships.
- There were a total of 2,479 goals scored during the championships.
- It was nearly a draw when it came to American and National Conference Championships as the American Conference edged the National Conference by three after posting 15 wins. Three of those contests went into overtime!
- Showing depth throughout its program, Salem (NH) can hang its hat on the fact that it saw 75% of its teams reach the finals. Out of its eight seeded teams, three captured first-place honors while three finished in second place.
- Finishing just behind the New Hampshire powerhouse was Masco with 64% of its teams advancing to the finals. Winchester, North Reading and Lynnfield capped off the top five with 55%, 50% and 50%, respectively.
- Andover once again finished tops in the medal count as the program earned 9 total medals!
- The Golden Warriors captured three titles and six second-place finishes, finishing just ahead of Masco’s 4-3-7 and Salem (NH)’s 3-3-6. Newburyport added two second-place honors to its four division crowns.
- Here are the final medal counts
- Andover – 3-6-9
- Masco – 4-3-7
- Salem (NH) – 3-3-6
- Winchester – 2-4-6
- Newburyport – 4-2-6
- Newton – 2-4-6
Rink Reporter Mike Shalin will once again provide highlights for all playoff games. Keep checking the VHL site for those popular roundups over the next few days.
Congratulations goes out to all of the players for their hard work, while the coaches and parents deserve much credit for dedicating so much time, effort and resources to make this season another huge success.