About Us

Ronald McDonald shows Vineland Sled Stars' goalie Charlie Hackney a giant check for $10,000 from Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philadelphia Region after the Sled Stars' 5-2 win over the Pennsylvania Hammerheads at Hollydell Ice Arena in Sewell Sunday January 27, 2013.

Ronald McDonald House Charities

 

Since 2003, Jim Connelly has been a mainstay on the U.S. sled hockey scene. As a member of the U.S. Paralympics Sled Hockey National Team in 2004, Connelly scored the game-winning shootout goal against Canada in the championship game of the USA Cup. In 2005, he set the single-season record for points in the Atlantic Sled Hockey League by notching 100 points (75-25) in just 16 games. At the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Torino Italy , as the youngest player on the squad, Connelly and the U.S. team won a bronze medal.

James Connelly, a defenseman, displayed a propensity to jump into the rush at the 2008 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships, scoring three goals in six games.  After winning the bronze medal, it was an even bigger accomplishment to win the gold medal at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada.

  • 2010: Gold medal – Paralympic Games, Vancouver, Canada                                        2010: Gold medal -                                           2010 Japan Para Ice Sledge Hockey Championships                                               2009: Paralympic team of the year                 2009: Gold Medal – World Championships, Ostrava, Czech Republic                                              2008:  Bronze medal - IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships, Marlborough, Mass.      2006:  Bronze medal - Paralympic Winter Games, Torino, Italy                                                 2005:  Named to U.S. Paralympics Sled Hockey National Team                                              2004-2005:  Scored 68 goals in 13 games for the Vineland Sled Stars of the Atlantic Sled Hockey League

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2004-2005:  Scored 68 goals in 13 games for the Vineland Sled Stars of the Atlantic Sled Hockey League

 

 James Connelly

Major Achievements
~~ The VINELAND SLED STARS The Vineland Sled Stars is a sled hockey team for the physically challenged youth between the ages of 5 to 18 years. In 2001, the founders, Kathy and Ken Shelton and Mike Doyle, along with A.J. Berenato worked together to bring this team to reality. The Sheltons had 2002 saw seven youths and five adults take to the Vineland Ice Arena ice. We allowed adults to skate with the team as there was no adult sled hockey team in the area. The adults helped the youth learn the game and develop their skills. The six youth were: *Dylan Baker, *Jeremy Crum, *Erin hall, *Jeremy Lubin, *Keith Shelton, *Jimmy Connelly and John Eckbold. The adults were *Albert Baruffi, *Tom Godfrey, Matt Reidy, Chris Risoli and Stacey Bertonazzi. Note: players names marked with * were still with the team five years later. Mike Doyle was there at almost every practice to help this new team be successful. Ken Shelton, III and his St. Augustine Prep hockey friends also stepped in to support and help our new team. Highlights of this season are: First on ice practice at Vineland Ice Arena-4/9/02 Garden State Games Tournament which was our first official game and tournament-7/02 Hollydell Ice Arena Scrimmage vs. Wings of Steel-8/11/02 Philadelphia Phantoms Hockey Game Fund Raiser-10/12/02 Practice, Practice and more Practice every Tuesday night 4/9-6/25/02 Youth National Sled Hockey Invitational at Voorhees, NJ 1/31-2/203 Mites on Ice with Phantoms St Augustine Prep Charity Game-played able bodied hockey players in sleds-2/4/03 1st Annual USA Hockey Atlantic District/USSHA Sled Hockey Development Camp Voorhees, NJ 8/8-8/10/03. Our Atlantic Youth Sled Hockey League games started on October 20, 2002 against the Bennett Blazers at home. It ended January 2003 and was a challenging season, (0-11) we lost every game however, we came out smiling because we had fun and did our best. Our team believed in an active parent-player organization and under our team manager, Kathy Shelton we had parent team meetings to plan the year and meet the needs of the team. We had blue jerseys highlighted with red and white with white stars.

History of the Vineland Sled Stars

~~ 2003/2004 Season: The Second Year “League Growing Pains” 2003 found our youth players becoming more of a team and our parents becoming active working to help the team become successful. We were honored to play the heros of 9/11, the NY/NJ Port Authority. The League began to have challenges of its own and needed to find consistent rules and structure. The team ended the season in 2nd place winning a majority of their games (7-6-1). Highlights include: Rink of Dreams Program Flyers game 12/12/03 Multiple newspaper articles about the team are printed Windsor Canada tournament 3/8/04 win first place New England Invitations at Amelia Park 4/29-5/1/04 Rennoc Foundation donated $5,000 Played the NY/NJ Port Authory, 9/11 survivors at Montclair College



2004/2005 Season: The Third Year “Tournaments, Tournaments” 2004 saw a new team join the league, the Woodbridge Warriors, Woodbridge, NJ. We also began to reach out to the other league teams who were not going to tournaments but had players who wanted to go. The Atlantic Patriots was considered our traveling team whenever we did not have enough players to travel for non league games. Our team began to view sled hockey tournaments as a family affair where we could all hang out and have fun off the ice. Sadly, we also felt a great lost when Rick Muka passed. Even though Rick was a Pittsburg Penguin, he would help this struggling team whenever he could and we were going to miss his kindness and smile. Highlights include: Voorhees Tournament where we came in first place in the Blue Division and 2nd place overall in the tournament-2/6-2/8/05 Vineland Sled Stars vs. NJ Port Authority Police Hockey Team Fund Raiser with the New Jersey Devils-3/7/05 Rennoc Foundation donates another $5,000 Windsor Canada Tournament-3/26-3/28/05 *First USA Sled Team to win a Gold Medal in the Windsor Games* New England Invitational at Amelia Park-5/7-9/05 1st Annual Rick Muka Award given by the Stars in Rick’s honor Wings of Steel created the Michael Senk Award Garden State Games 5/22-5/23/05 Bennett Blazer Jr Sled Hockey Camp-2nd place 7/30-8/1 Bone Run Walk n Roll-SJ Rehab Hospital donated money to team- 10/4/05-Coach Tom wins first place costume prize Bill Haas’s Church Golf Tournament-donated money to the team Pittsburgh Penguins Thanksgiving Tournament- 11/26-11/27/05 Caren Diel’s graduate research project from Temple Coach Tom selected as USA Weekend one of our caring ‘05 Coaches

2003/2004 Season

2004/2005 Season

~~Highlights include: Voorhees Tournament where we came in first place in the Blue Division and 2nd place overall in the tournament-2/6-2/8/05 Vineland Sled Stars vs. NJ Port Authority Police Hockey Team Fund Raiser with the New Jersey Devils-3/7/05 Rennoc Foundation donates another $5,000 Windsor Canada Tournament-3/26-3/28/05 *First USA Sled Team to win a Gold Medal in the Windsor Games* New England Invitational at Amelia Park-5/7-9/05 1st Annual Rick Muka Award given by the Stars in Rick’s honor Wings of Steel created the Michael Senk Award Garden State Games 5/22-5/23/05 Bennett Blazer Jr Sled Hockey Camp-2nd place 7/30-8/1 Bone Run Walk n Roll-SJ Rehab Hospital donated money to team- 10/4/05-Coach Tom wins first place costume prize Bill Haas’s Church Golf Tournament-donated money to the team Pittsburgh

 Penguins Thanksgiving Tournament- 11/26-11/27/05 Caren Diel’s graduate research project from Temple Coach Tom selected as USA Weekend one of our caring ‘05 Coaches


2005/2006 Season


2005/2006 Season: The Fourth Year “Year of no league champion” The fourth year brought a team eager to reach the first place spot in the league however it was not to be. Because of problems with teams not finishing the season the league commissioner ruled that there would be no winner this year. The team was disappointed but continued to move forward and develop as a competitive team. We began to have various fundraisers; Valerie Crum organized flower sales and money script for groceries. The parent group continued to do things for the team such as holiday parties, team celebrations, buying new jerseys and shirts. The team was financially in good shape, in part due to the on going support and loyalty of A.J. Berenato who never charged a dime for the ice time. Highlights: 1st Vineland Sled Hockey Camp w/Mike Doyle Windsor Canada tournament 3/06 Phantom Hockey fund raiser 4/06 New England Invitational Amelia Park 4/06 2nd Rick Muka Award Garden State Games 6/06 Jimmy Connelly-Bronze in Italy Paralympics w/USA Sled Team

~~ 2006/2007 Season: The Fifth Year “League and District Champs” The fifth year was the magic charm, we finally won the hard earned District and League Championships and showed everyone that we are a hard working and proud team with supportive parents. Highlights: 2nd Annual Vineland Sled Hockey Camp w/Mike Doyle London Blizzard Canada Tournament 1/26-1/27/07 New England Invitational Amelia Park 4/07 3rd Rick Muka Award Phantoms fund raiser- 2/07 League Championship Win 2/18/07 District Championship Playoff 3/2/07 2007/2008 Season: The Sixth Year “District Champs Again” The sixth season was a little harder then the previous. One of our players was nationally bound and was no longer eligible to play for the Stars. However, that did not stop us from working hard and proving that we still had the fight in us. We missed being league champs by a few points, but we were able to capture the District Championship again! Highlights: 3rd Annual Vineland Sled Hockey Camp w/Mike Doyle New England Invitational Amelia Park 4/08 4rd Rick Muka Award Phantoms fund raiser- 2/08 District Championship Playoff 3/2/08 U.S. Rep Frank LoBiondo honors Vineland Sled Stars with an American Flag that was flown over the United States Capital 2008/2009 Season: The Seventh Year “Lost our home” The seventh season was very hard on the Vineland Sled Stars. We now had two more of our players age out (Thank you Baker and Connelly Family) and we were struggling for players. At the end of our season, the owners of our ice arena announced the closing of the rink. It was a very sad time for us. Thankfully, we were taken in from a nearby rink, Hollydell. Unfortunately, that rink was not as accessible and the ice slots that we were given were very hard on our families. But, we were a family and we would work through it. Highlights: New England Invitational Amelia Park 4/09 5rd Rick Muka Award Phantoms fund raiser- 2/09 Last Phantoms fundraiser, they are no longer in Philadelphia! District Championship Playoff 3/2/09 2009/2010 Season: The Eighth Year “WE are back HOME” The eighth season was welcome with the news that our “Home” the Vineland Ice Arena was reopening. It is now CanLan Ice Rink and is being managed by a rink management group from Canada. The Stars were very thankful when the new management gave us a discounted price for our ice time. We had been very spoiled by the previous owners who did not charge us at all. So, it was a hardship, but we need for the first time in the team’s history to charge a team fee. That cost us some players and families. So, we had a very tough season in our league and came in 3rd place in league and districts. But, we were still together and we are determine to make this team grow again. Highlights: Walmart Coin Drop 9/09 New England Invitational Amelia Park 4/10 6rd Rick Muka Award District Championship Playoff 3/2/10 Jimmy Connelly Gold Medal in Vancouver Paralympics, the Baruffi and Yusko Vineland Sled Star families went there in support.

2006/2007 Season



2010/2011 Season: The Ninth Year “ On our way back” We have been blessed with a few new players and even though we are not as competitive as we were in the past, we are on our way back. It is just growing pains again. We are in fourth place, league and district. We will be going to the districts in March and Amelia Park in April. Due to District rules, we have a chance to come in second or first. Either way, we are still a team that works together for the good of our families. We are very thankful that one of our original players has decided to coach. Jeremy Lubin is now a level four USA Hockey coach. We have also lost another dear family, the Reids have moved to Virginia. We will miss Coach Chris and his humor! Highlights: New England Invitational Amelia Park 7th Rick Muka Award The Delp Twins were featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer District Championship Playoff Jeremy Lubin goes from Player to Coach



2011/2012 Season: The Tenth Year “Thanks Coach Tom & Vineland Rink” Coach Tom Godfrey had been with our team from the beginning. He did not have a disabled child, but was disabled himself. He volunteered his time and talent to us for ten years. We needed to thank him! This would be the last Rick Muka Award in Amelia Park. We decided to end the award with the win of the Championship in Amelia Park. After many years of traveling to that great tournament, we finally won! We came in Second in the Districts. Sadly, we also saw the doors to Vineland Ice Arena close for the last time. We cannot thank them enough for all they did for us! Highlights: Honor Coach Tom Godfrey for his years of Service, March, 2012 New England Invitational Amelia Park, Final Rick Muka Award Amelia Park 2012 Champions Played St. Augustine Prep Hockey Team in honor of their senior and our player Keith Shelton District Championship Playoff Sadly lost our rink after a very hard fight



2012-2013 Season: The Eleventh Year “New Beginnings” We are thankful that Hollydell has welcomed us back. Although it was a struggle for Coach Ken, we were accepted back to the Hollydell Ice Arena and that is our new home. The Sheltons have decided to semi-retire, but will continue to help and support the team when they are in need. Kathy Shelton applied and we were granted $10,000 Equipment Grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities. The team still struggles to find funding for ice time fees. The Bareiszis family is going to be taking over the coaching and Lisa Oates is going to do most of the managing of the team. Joining the DVHL League was new this season. The first season with DVHL was not what was expected, but as a team we stuck together. Highlights: Hollydell welcomes us back Received $10,000 from Ronald McDonald House Charities Honor Ken and Kathy Shelton for their service




2013-2014 Season: The Twelth Year “Back in the DVHL”

2011/2012 Season

2010/2011 Season

2013/2014 Season

2012/2013 Season