Posted Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Randolph-Based Travel Team Swept Five-Game Tournament in Finland and Sweden

The Team USA Bulldogs youth travel hockey team, based in Randolph, has been honored by the Morris County Board of Freeholders for their recent five-game sweep in a special tournament that pitted them against elite youth teams from Finland and Sweden in games played in late December in Europe.

photo of players, coaches and freeholders at awards event

Team members (l/r) Hunter Parrillo, Ryan Puco, Robert Magnotta Keegan Melly, Andrew Nicholas, Jake McCloud, Nicholas Colatrella, Shane Melly, Jordan Papadopoulos, and Ryan Van Zile – back row (l/r) Freeholders Doug Cabana and Deborah Smith, coach Rob Magnotta, Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo, coach Kevin Melly, and Freeholders Heather Darling, John Cesaro, and Christine Myers

The boys’ team is comprised of players ages 9 and 10 from Denville, Harding, Jefferson, Morris Plains, Randolph, Roxbury, and Stanhope.

The invite-only travel team includes boys from area youth ice hockey teams who are chosen to compete. They are based out of the Aspen Ice training facility in Randolph.

“We are very proud of these young men who, at just ages 9 and 10, traveled overseas and represented their towns, their county, and – most importantly — themselves and their families in such a positive manner,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “On behalf of all Morris County residents, we are very proud of you.’’

“The freeholders congratulate you for the hard work and dedication that led to your success,’’ said Deputy Freeholder Director Christine Myers. “We also hope you had a lot of fun in traveling to Finland and Sweden and meeting people your age from another part of the world. Congratulations to you!

photo of Team members (l/r) Shane Melly, Robert Magnotta and Keegan Melly, with (l/r) coaches Kevin Melly, Rob Magnotta and Freeholder Director Doug Cabana

Team members (l/r) Shane Melly, Robert Magnotta and Keegan Melly, with (l/r) coaches Kevin Melly, Rob Magnotta and Freeholder Director Doug Cabana

Team members (l/r) Shane Melly, Robert Magnotta and Keegan Melly, with (l/r) coaches Kevin Melly, Rob Magnotta and Freeholder Director Doug Cabana

Head Coach Rob Magnotta and Assistant Coach and General Manager Kevin Melly, both of Randolph, received a county resolution of congratulations, while the 10 players who represented their team in the tournament received county certificates from the Board of Freeholders.

Members of the Team USA Bulldogs who traveled to Finland and Sweden for the tournament are:

Jordan Papadopoulos of Harding, Andrew Nicholas of Morris Plains, Ryan Van Zile of Roxbury, Shane Melly of Randolph, Nicholas Colatrella of Roxbury, Jake McCloud of Denville, Keegan Melly of Randolph, Hunter Parrillo of Jefferson, Robert Magnotta of Randolph, Ryan Puco of Stanhope.

In addition to playing hockey, the young Morris County ambassadors also had a full itinerary. They cruised from Helsinki to Stockholm; visited the Vasa Museum and the Alfred Nobel Prize Museum, and toured the Royal Palace of the King and Queen of Sweden in Stockholm.

No surprise, they also attended a Swedish Hockey League game, featuring Djurgården Stockholm versus the IF Malmö Redhawks.