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NAHA wrapped up the 2011-2012 season with a home weekend, reception and awards. NAHA Red hosted seven teams in the NAHA Annual Spring Invitational while White played a 2 game exhibition against the Czech National Team.
Following the Saturday games, NAHA hosted the annual end of season reception and awards at the new Jay Peak Conference Center! Many thanks to Jay Peak Resort President Bill Stenger and Marketing Director Steve Wright for their help and generosity at the kickoff event at their new Center located in the new Hotel Jay. It was great to have them swing by during the evening.
Congratulations to both teams on a great season! Some photos from the weekend below...
Congrats to the NAHA teams for a great showing at the 2012 JWHL Challenge Cup. NAHA Red takes home the Gold in the U17 Division and NAHA White the Silver in the U19. NAHA Red has won the U17 Division every year it's been held!!
NAHA Red hosted a Holiday Classic Tournament to end the first half of the season, with teams coming from NJ, Quebec, Colorado and VT to participate in the first Holiday Classic Round Robin at Jay Peak Resort's Ice Haus. NAHA White hosted two of the top teams in Quebec for a pair of exhibition games with each team as well. We look forward to making this an annual event, as all participants loved the area, the arena and the hospitality!
NAHA Red set out to measure their progress over the first half of their season, as they'd played some of the teams in the tournament earlier in the year. They opened on Friday night against the local Rice Knights. After battling back throughout the game, Red forced a shootout when they tied the game at 3, but lost in the shootout. They were focused on the 2nd game of the day on Friday to play their best, and won over the Quebec enrant, L'Estie 3-1. Saturday they opened with a 4-3 win over NJ Colonials in an up and down the ice, fast paced game. Saturday eve they played against the Colorado Select, and in a tight battle, emerged 1-0 winners. As many of the NAHA Red players and families headed home for Christmas break, they'd have to await the Sunday results to see the final standings, with NAHA Red winners of the 1st NAHA - Jay Peak Holiday Classic!! Congrats!!
NAHA Red & White medalled in the final USA Canada Cup Series weekend of 2011 in Kitchener ON.
NAHA Red brought the attention on themselves from the college souting world with the progress they've made, both as a team and individually, in the short two plus months they've been together. Coming from many differnt parts of the country, with different backbrounds, twelve new players joined 8 returnees, and have dedicated themselves in practice, in the off ice workouts and through their competitions to becoming the best they can be. From a 2-3 start in the first Detroit USA Canada Cup weekend, this team and the players on it have grown, played great hockey against older teams and had success, and it all came together in the Kitchener weekend, going 4-0 in the U17 round robin leading up to the Gold Medal game with our great friends, the Ottawa Midget Senators. It was a great game, a chess match, as opposed to their first match, and 8-1 loss. Right up to the final minute it was a 1 goal game, until Ottawa got the empty net goal, and NAHA Red captured the Silver Medal, something they should be very poud of.
NAHA White entered the weekend after some inconsistent play over their past 2 JWHL weekends, but focused on one of their favorite Series of the year. As defending Gold Medalists, they focused on their goals, and the practices during the preceding week showed it, with a singular midset and focus from all the players. They knew they'd open with the Toronto Jr. Aeros, undefeated in their league, the PWHL acclaimed by many as the best league in the world for this age players. They also had the #2, #5 and #9 teams on their schedule, and looked forward to a great tournament. They didn't disappoint playing some of the best hockey the college hockey scouts had seen at this age level, beating the top 3 Canadian teams by 3 goals in each game, and a rematch with their lone blemish of the weekend, an over-time loss to the Stoney Creek Jr. Sabres in a penalty filled and quirky game. The Gold Medal game was fast paced, physical and exciting, played in the historic Kitcher Aud's main arena. NAHA White claimed the prize with a 3-0 win, and the Gold Medal for the 2nd consecutive year.
Gold Medal Game MVP's:
NAHA Red: Ashley Wilkes, G
NAHA White: Dayna Colang, D
Congrats to both NAHA teams on a great first half of the season, and Happy Holidays to all!!
NAHA Red pregame in the Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid prior to the Gold Medal game 2011
NAHA Red outside Northeastern University's Matthews Arena