September 2008


NJ Jr. Titans ’95s vs. Valley Forge Minutemen

Saturday Sept. 13, 2008 at WSA 11:00am

Welcome to the NJ Jr. Titans Bantam Minor home game. We want to build on the momentum created by our 15-1 drubbing of Suffolk PAL last Sunday. We play a very comfortable sytle here at WSA and we hope to continue it against Valley Forge this morning. It’s a big game for us – we want to even our League and District record at 1-1 before we host the perennially tough Long Island Royals tomorrow. Today’s opponent, the Minutemen know we took a beating last Saturday vs. the Jr. Flyers and they are chomping at the bit to secure a District road victory. The Minutemen are well-coached and have a quality team with plenty of speed and solid goaltending. Our boys will have their hands full – we expect a physical game today from the Minutemen.

The coaching staff felt we had a good week of practice – we benefitted from 2 solo practices due to the ’94 trip to Syracuse. We were able to tighten up our Defensive Zone coverage thru our new favorite drill called the “Russian Paradox” (a staple of our Atlantic District training). We spent the bulk of our week doing “battle” drills and initiating contact – The coaching staff felt we played the Jr. Flyers too soft last weekend, especially their skill players. We have to get back to our Titan style of play this morning against Valley Forge – being home at WSA should help.

The friendly confines of WSA certainly helped us in our thrashing of Suffolk. Everyone contributed to the scoresheet. We received 8 goals from Defenseman – with that type of balance our offense can be dangerous. Our boys were very respectful (meaning no laughing or boisterous celebrations) so I simply didn’t hold them back. It was an absolute joy to watch their skill level and creative offensive production. I think Coach Vico is in for an awakening if he thinks that’s the type of game he’ll see every time he helps out on the bench…LOL

Your ’95s expect to make the most of our two home games this weekend. The boys continue to work hard – they’ve been impressive in their handling of Coach Walker’s intense style as he “barks” out orders during practice. This ’95 group is a proud bunch and they want to compete and do well for you – we hope their hard work pays off with good results this weekend.

NJ Jr. Titans U16 National vs. NJ Avalanche

Friday Sept. 12, 2008 at WSA 8:30pm

Welcome to the NJ Jr. Titans U16 version of “Friday Night Lights”. We’re hosting a very good NJ Avalanche team tonight as we look to avenge our 3-0 loss to them last Saturday night. We have prepared hard this week at practice to turn the tables on them and claim our first League victory of the season. The Avalanche have started the season 1-2 with losses to both the NJ Colonials and the Philadelphia Little Flyers. They boast most of the top ’93s in the Atlantic District Development Program and they clearly benefit from one of the District’s top coaches, JJ Picnic – who was himself one of the top District players in his day with the Ramapo Saints before his career at Providence College.

Your NJ Titans U16s have hit an 0-3 bump to start their Regular season after a 2-3 tournament record Labor Day Weekend. We’re still feeling the sting of Evan Hughes’ injury (broken collarbone) and this week’s defection of another forward to an independent Jr. B team. The coaching staff is looking to the leadership core of the team to embrace a foxhole mentality as we attempt to shake off the early season rust. The coaching staff has sensed that the players confidence is a little fragile at this early stage of the Regular season and has taken steps this week in practice to instill a focus on short term improvement. This week’s practice emphasis was correcting flaws in our Defensive zone coverage and implementing details of our in-zone Power Play system.

Another busy weekend is ahead for the U16s – The Avalanche tonight, then two tough road games at the NJ Colonials (Saturday) and the Little Flyers (Sunday). Coach Walker and Coach Berzolla continue to be impressed with the team’s work ethic and commitment to learning – we constantly reinforce the need for accountability to your teammates and the importance of believing in each other. It’s been a challenge so far given the early season losses we’ve experienced, but we believe we can turn our record around quickly with some more hard work. We expect our boys to bounce back with three solid efforts this weekend and we have no doubt our record will soon reflect the team’s work ethic.

The key to tonight’s game is a strong forecheck in order to create offensive chances. Our skilled players will need to focus on taking quality shots rather than making the “extra” pass. We have the speed to match the Avalanche, we’ll have to contain their quick forwards down low in order to counter-attack in transition. Special teams will certainly factor into tonight’s game which usually happens when two rivals play twice within the same week. Expect to see a motivated, gritty squad this evening.

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

Welcome to the NJ Jr. Titans Bantam Minor home opener. We kick-off the 2008-2009 season with a non-League game versus our nemesis from Long Island – Suffolk PAL. Expect both Suffolk and the Jr.Titans to establish a physical game which should carry over to their regular season match-ups. Your Jr. Titans are fresh of a stinging 5-1 loss to the Jr. Flyers yesterday in West Chester, PA. The coaching staff is looking for these young men to bounce back today with a solid effort in front of our home crowd. The boys are anxious to get back to the winning atmosphere created at the Mass. Outlaws tournament two weeks ago.

Our 4-game “ho-hum” pre-season tournament in Marlboro,MA turned into a grueling six-game experience culminating in a Silver medal by our under-manned squad. We split Day one of the tournament – soundly beating the GBL Bruins and losing to the improved Dual State Huskies. Day two saw us sweep our remaining round robin games setting up a re-match with the Dual State Huskies on Sunday morning. Your ’95 Jr. Titans totally dominated the Dual State Huskies in the semi-final jumping out to a 3-0 lead, then hanging on for a 4-2 win. Fatigue finally caught up to our boys in the Finals as we fell to our in-state League rival Mercer Chiefs 3-1. It was nothing short of a valiant effort by our boys as we finished the tournament with only eleven players (including Ryan Strapp who was sick all weekend but still played well). Our veteran defense was outstanding all weekend, obviously aided by timely goals from our 7 forwards. Of course, our berth in the Finals could not have been possible without solid goaltending from George Blinick and Chris D’Alessio.

Turning to yesterday’s League opening 5-1 loss, the coaching staff chooses to believe it was an aberration. After the first 6-7 minutes we just looked out-of-sync in our own zone. The boys seemed mesmerized by the speed of the Jr. Flyers and we blew Defensive zone coverages on the 2nd and 3rd goals. These types of defensive zone breakdowns were not evident in Marlboro nor in any of the system practices so far. The boys are aware of the cause of the breakdowns and are committed to correcting these coverages this afternoon. Coach Walker and Coach Haviland have been impressed with the team’s work ethic and commitment to learning the details of our systems. The coaching staff has asked this year’s team (and specifically our veteran leadership group) to conform to a strict set of concepts and take on additional responsibility outside their comfort zone. This ’95 group is still getting used to Coach Walker’s gruff style and demand for accountability to each other – the coaching staff has no doubt our ’95s are on the right path of progression – we look for this elite group to contribute to our Bantam & Midget programs for years to come.

Your ’95s expect to close out the weekend with a solid home effort. We’ll then get back to school and practice as we prepare for next weekend’s busy schedule. Expect to see a motivated, gritty squad this afternoon.

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

NJ Jr. Titans U16 National vs. NJ Devils

 

Saturday Sept. 6, 2008 at WSA 11:45am

 

 

Welcome to the NJ Jr. Titans U16 home opener.  The 2008-2009 season begins with the renewal of our in-state rivalry with the NJ Devils.  Both teams are looking to jump start their season with an important win.  In years past, the Jr. Titans opening home weekend was spent playing non-League teams as we would try to “ease” into the regular season.  Those days are long gone – many teams like us and the Devils front-load their schedules in order to maximize the use of our respective High School hockey players.  Hence, the intense schedule of two League games today (our U16s travel to Hackensack later today at 5:30pm to take on the Avalanche) and  another one on the road tomorrow.

 

Both the Devils and the Jr. Titans are fresh off a 5-game pre-season tournament in Marlboro,MA over the Labor Day Weekend. We expect a spirited game this afternoon as both teams attempt to set the tone for our weekend home-and-home series. The Devils are well coached by Atlantic District veteran John DiNorcia and his experience staff of Tom Van Doren and Greg Wright.  The Devils are led by perennial AYHL all-star Devon Duarte and former Jr. Titan David Mosier, not to mention outstanding players like James Trenkle, Kevin Brennan and Andrew Pascal.  The Devils boast a solid goaltending tandem of Alex Durso and Peter Guerriera.

 

Our Jr. Titans U16s are excited to perform for you this afternoon. Today is a great opportunity for our boys to showcase their talent in front of all the Junior B GMs and coaches in the building for the Junior tournament.  Coach Walker and Coach Berzolla have been impressed with the team’s work ethic and commitment to learning the details of our systems.  The coaching staff has asked this year’s team to conform to a strict set of concepts that have been the cornerstone of the Jr. Titans Midget Program over the past 5 seasons. This U16 group is a talented collection of dedicated players who strive to play at the Junior level next season with an ultimate goal of contributing at the College hockey level.

 

The Jr. Titans U16s came home from Boston with a respectable 2-3 record.  After an inauspicious start due to a 9-1 drubbing at the hands of the LI Gulls, and a hard fought 3-2 loss to the 495 Stars – the U16s rebounded with two strong wins: 6-0 vs. the West Seneca Wings and a convincing 4-1 win over the NH Monarchs.  At 2-2 our tournament goal of playing a meaningful 5th game was met.  We faced off last Sunday night against the NV River Rats and lost an intense 4-2 game to knock us out of the tournament.  Despite leading 2-1 with 11 minutes to play, we couldn’t hang on against the more desperate River rats and we were ultimately done in by some questionable officiating and poor puck decisions. 

 

The boys were back to school and back to the practice rink to make the necessary adjustments for todays game and this weekend’s packed schedule.  Expect to see a motivated, gritty squad this afternoon. 

 

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

 

Number           Player Name           Birthyear    Height/Weight                School

2                      Steven Spinelli       ’92             5’10” 150lbs        SJV

3                      Anthony Lobianco  92             5’11” 150lbs        Brick Memorial

7                      Marc Raziano        ’92             6’0″ 185lbs          West Windsor

11                    David Ramos         ’92             6’1″ 175lbs          Howell H.S.

14                    Patrick Dwyer       ’93              5’6″ 150lbs          Red Bank Catholic

15                    Thomas Lindquist   ’92             5’9″ 150lbs          Brick Memorial

17                    Evan Hughes          ’92             6’1″ 175lbs          Ridge H.S.

19                    Robert Fisher         ’93             5’9″ 150lbs          SJV

21                    Michael Durelli       ’92              5’11” 165lbs        B. Eustace

22                    Mark Powell          ’92              5’7″ 150lbs          Red Bank Catholic

25                    Rick VanBlarcom  ‘92              5’9″ 150lbs          Allentown H.S.

27                    Thomas Carlucci    ’92              5’9″ 150lbs          CBA

29                    Brandon Worrall    ’92              6’2″ 180lbs          West Windsor

30                    Peter Stamberger   ’92              6’1″ 185lbs          Pt. Pleasant Boro

37                    Anthony Carvagno’93               5’9″ 155lbs          Toms River North

39                    Alex Strauss           ’92             5’10” 150lbs        CBA

77                    Vincent Stagliano  ’92               5’11” 160lbs        Wall H.S.

91                    Nick Kamberogiannis ’92         5’9″ 150lbs         CBA