Gonzaga had three players who were invited to participate in USA Hockey Boys Select Player Development Camps in July in Amherst, NY. Rising juniors Connor Tait and Dominic Basse played in the camp for 16-year-old players and Cole Vallese participated in the camp for 15-year-olds.
Basse shined while playing five games for Team Royal, finishing with a 2.88 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. He was invited to play in the age group's All-Star game following the regular camp and played 28 minutes and saved all 20 shots he faced in his team's 3-1 win.
Tait tallied a goal and three assists in five games, while Vallese notched an assist in three games.
Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year Connor Tait (photo: Washington Post)
The Eagles' sophomore Connor Tait was selected as The Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year. Tait led the Eagles in scoring and to the MAPHL title in February. Junior defenseman Chase Vallese was selected to the All-Met First Team. Three Eagles also were Honorable Mention All-Met selections: Goaltender Dominic Basse (Sophomore), Ian Kilcullen (Junior), and John Cardellicchio (Senior).
MAPHL "A" Division Champions
MAPHL "AA" Division Champions
Chase Vallese's goal with less than two minutes remaining in the game sent the boisterous crowd into a frenzy and gave the Gonzaga Eagles a 2-1 victory over Calvert hall in the MAPHL "AA" Division championship game on Friday night at Laurel. It was the Eagles' fourth MAPHL title in the last eight years and the first since 2014.
Calvert Hall's Brennan O''Brien scored at 8:35 of the third period to tie a close-checking game at 1-1 and set up the late game heroics from Vallese.
After a scoreless first period, Connor Tait struck first with a goal at 8:06 of the second period. Vallese's pass sent Tait into the offensive zone, where he skated into the slot and wristed a shot over Calvert Hall goalie Matt Schaab's right shoulder.
Vallese's winning goal turned out to be a family affair as his brother, Cole, got the secondary assist on the play. Tait got the primary assist.
Earlier in the evening, Gonzaga's Varsity II team defeated DeMatha's Varsity II to win the MAPHL "A" Division championship. It was the Eagles' second consecutive "A" Division championship.
It's the first time that the same school won both the MAPHL "A" and "AA" Division titles in the same year.
Monumental Sports Network produced the short video The Fort is Purple. The video chronicles Gonzaga players and coaches preparing for its game with St. Albans on Jan. 31st. Both teams call Fort Dupont Ice Arena home, but the Eagles were hoping to avenge last season's 2-1 loss to the Bulldogs, snapping the Eagles' 41-game unbeaten streak, and keeping "the Fort purple" for another year.
Ft. Dupont Ice Arena has been the home of the Gonzaga Eagles since the program's inception in the 1992-93 season. It is operated by the Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena (Friends of FDIA), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3), was formed in the summer of 1996 in response to the pending closure of the ice arena by its owner, the National Park Service. Parents and friends organized and took over the management of the arena, revitalizing the facility that is located in the heart of Ward 7 in Southeast DC.