The Marlborough-based Boston Junior Bruins have put together a spectacular season on the ice, their 48-3-1 run highlighted by Empire League regular-season and post-season titles.
Their reward is a second straight trip to the invitation-only USA Hockey Junior B national championships in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Junior B's open play this afternoon (1:15 p.m.)with a first-round match against the Suffolk (New York) Silver Shields.
Next up in the round-robin format is a Friday night matchup against the El Paso Rhinos, followed by a Saturday afternoon game against the St. Louis Blues. The semifinals are scheduled for Sunday, with the two finalists playing for the Silver Cup on Monday night.
Northborough's Evan Gogonis (50-plus assists) and Shrewsbury's Joey Dillon have been stellar point men on the blue line this season, while Derek Arnold (Foxboro), Steve Morra (Bristol, R.I.) and John Henrion (Holden) pace the Junior B's attack up front.
"I am excited for the games to start and I know the team is as well," said Junior B's coach Chris Masters, whose team calls the New England Sports Center its home ice. "I like how we match up this year at the tournament and while there is not an easy game in the tournament I think if we play our game by skating and moving pucks, continue to get solid play from our goalies and special teams we could make some noise."
Milford's Steve Ginand, Shrewsbury's Colin Shea, and Westborough's Nick Foy and Ryan Brothers are also members of the squad, with an average age of 16 years old.
-- Craig Larson
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