Press-Republican

Sports

July 6, 2007

Elite hockey season opens tonight

PLATTSBURGH — Let the games begin.

The Champlain Valley Elite Junior A hockey team opens its summer season this weekend at the Hartford Showcase in Hartford, Conn.

The Elite Junior A will be one of seven teams taking part in the event, which begins tonight and runs until Sunday afternoon.

“It’s an exciting time for the coaching staff,” said Elite head coach/general manager Justin Frechette. “A lot of planning and work goes into this before we play a game. Now, it’s time to play.

“We have a fresh look on the team this year with 16 new faces. We’ve had a good training camp this week and have no injuries.

“We’ve been skating twice a day and the character and chemistry on the team is the best we have ever had. It’s going to be fun to watch these guys play.”

The Elite Junior A open play in the tournament tonight at 7:30 p.m. against the Hackettstown Americans.

Then, on Saturday, the Elite tangle with the Brewster Bulldogs at 8 a.m. and against the Northern Connecticut Wings at 2 p.m.

The semifinals and championship game are set for Sunday.

“The top four teams make it to Sunday and the other three go home,” Frechette said. “Games will consist of two 25-minute halves like they have at the Chowder Cup.”

Wins are worth two points, a tie one point and a loss no points.

“We need our players to trust in each other and our system,” Frechette said. “We’re looking to continue the winning tradition we have going.”

The Elite Junior A, in its history, has won 94 percent of its games.

Champlain Valley’s A team has lost only three games total, including one in the Chowder Cup quarterfinals and two in the finals of the annual event.

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