Bruins fans, sadly, have to wait another year. But, Dorchester can once again claim bragging rights as the nation’s hockey champs, thanks to a gritty crew of teens who have once again put Dot on the national sports map.
The Dorchester Chiefs — comprised of 13 players ages 16-18— bested the Hurricanes of Hollydell, New Jersey by a score of 3-2 in the finale of a grueling six-game USA Hockey tournament in Rochester, New York. The victory marks the third national championship for the DYH “Midget” program.
“The DYH program is extremely proud of the effort showed by both the coaches and players of this team. The players showed a lot of poise and class in going undefeated in this tournament,” said Matt Sweeney, president of Dorchester Youth Hockey. “This will be the 3rd National Championship for the Midget program. We look forward to hoisting the National Championship banner this fall, and competing for the championship again in 2011.”
Charlie Pero knows what it feels like to be a teen champion. The 31 year-old Boston firefighter was among the Dorchester Youth Hockey squad that netted Dot’s first national championship back in 1997.
This time, Coach Pero watched with pride from the bench as a new crop of homegrown talent skated to another title victory. Pero, alongside fellow coaches Scott Perry and Ross Pasquantonio, have assembled a competitive team to play in the USA Hockey program for each of the last five years. Dorchester last won the national title in 2000, according to Pero.
The Chiefs were led to victory on goals by Mike Lopez, Joe DiPetro and Mike Sullivan, while net-minder Sal Tecci continued his stingy ways between the pipes. The Chiefs went 6-0 in the weekend tournament, defeating teams from New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois and Ohio.
Pero said that his players were “gassed” after a taxing semi-final game against the Northwest Chargers of Chicago who took the Dot boys to double overtime in the semi-finals.
The Chiefs defeated the Cape Cod Whalers 5-2 in the spring to capture the state championship, but the Dorchester squad had to hustle off the ice to get to the big dance in Rochester. With their coaches’ assistance, the squad raised over $12,000 to help pay for their travel costs — most of it raised through a raffle in which local businesses stepped up to support the effort.
Pero said this week that enough money is left over to buy the championship banner that will hang with pride in the Chiefs’ home rink in Neponset.
Try-outs for next year’s USA Hockey roster begin in August. Watch the Reporter for details.