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High School Hockey

Jessica Jacques, TeamONE net HNIB girls’ title

Ray Jacques  coach of TeamONE, reacts to a call during the second period of the championship game in Haverhill.

Mark Lorenz for the Boston Globe.

Ray Jacques coach of TeamONE, reacts to a call during the second period of the championship game in Haverhill.

Each time Jessica Jacques skates down the ice on a rush, she inches closer to her dream of playing Division 1 women’s college hockey.

Her father, Ray, certain that the goal is attainable, pushes her each step of the way, including this past week as head coach for the TeamONE squad in the 19th annual Hockey Night in Boston Girls’ Major Showcase in Haverhill.

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“I know what she wants out of this, so I do push her when I have to,” said the elder Jacques, a Peabody native who was a team captain on the ice at Matignon High and, later, the University of Maine.

Jessica, a rising junior at Austin Prep in Reading, said: “Sometimes it’s hard, but I know when he’s yelling at me and telling me what to do, I know that he knows what he’s talking about.

“I just got to let it all sink in and go out there and do it,” added Jacques, who also skates for the Boston Shamrocks of the Junior Women’s Hockey League.

His tutelage sank in this past week for his daughter and her TeamONE teammates, who knocked off a heavily favored Minnesota squad in Saturday’s championship game, 4-3, at the Valley Youth Forum. Minnesota prevailed against TeamONE in last year’s final.

Entering the final game of the nine-team tourney, Minnesota had only surrendered three goals in its five games played, but TeamONE — which lost its only game of the tournament to Minnesota, 2-0, on Aug. 8 — brought constant offensive pressure, resulting in a thrilling win.

“When you’re an underdog and you come in and you beat a team that you’re supposedly not supposed to beat, that’s really fun,” Ray Jacques said.

“The first time we played Minnesota we didn’t play very well. So I said to the girls, ‘This is great because there’s no place to go but up; we can’t play any worse.’

“And they all came together and did it themselves.”

In 2008, Jacques created TeamONE as an extension of the Pennsylvania-based OneHockey organization. His son, 19-year-old Raymond Paul Jr., now one of his assistant coaches, was a player in its inaugural year.

During the summer showcases he would allow his son’s teammates to stay at his house. The bond that developed between her brother and his teammates made an impression on Jessica.

“I would go watch them on the ice and I was like, ‘Dad, I want a team with all my friends,’ and then the following year [2011] he made this team,” she said.

In 2011, the TeamONE boys’ squad captured the HNIB showcase, making Ray the only person ever to win the tournament as a coach and a player; his Greater Boston squad won the title in 1978.

In its short existence, TeamONE has become a complete family affair for the Jacqueses.

While 16-year-old Jessica, a 5-foot-5 center, leads the team on the ice, Ray, 51, directs the squad from the bench, along with his 80-year-old father, Raymond William.

Off the ice, Ray and his wife, Michelle, act as a host family, allowing girls to stay at their home in North Reading.

The team competes in two showcases during the summer: the Beantown Classic, which was held July 26-28 at New England Sports Center in Marlborough, and the HNIB. During the tournaments, the Jacqueses have housed as many as 10 players. The experience is cherished and appreciated by the out-of-towners, said Ellen Chiligiris, who hails from Downers Grove, Ill.

“The first time I went there, I had no idea who they were, didn’t know any of the girls, so you’re kind of thrown into this position where you have to make friends, have to meet new people,” said Chiligiris, in her second year with the team.

“But the Jacqueses are really family-oriented; they let everybody into their house.”

Chiligiris earned one of the tournament’s four unsung hero awards, largely in part due to her championship-game-winning goal — her only tally of the tourney — which she swatted out of the air on a rebound.

Sarah Robello, 19, travels from her home in Las Vegas each year to play in the showcases. She will also team up with Jessica Jacques on the Boston Shamrocks this fall, and stay with the family in North Reading.

“It’s just insane what [the Jacqueses] do,” said the defenseman, who netted 11 points to finish as the coleader in the tourney.

“From team parties, to going to the movies, taking us to Boston, big dinners, and it’s so much appreciated by all of us.”

Jackie Guy, a St. Louis resident who has suited up for TeamONE for three years, said the experience has been “unbelievable.’’

“I mean, I’m living away from home in high school, which is not very common where I’m from at all,” added the 17-year-old defenseman.

“Nobody where I live moves away for a sport or does online school; they just play for the high school team usually.”

So how do girls across the country find themselves on a newly founded Massachusetts-based team, and turn into a showcase champion so quickly?

Yes, Ray Jacques expresses verbal interest when he sees a skater he admires. But he deflects credit to the girls, claiming success has been largely due to a “snowball effect” that they created.

“You know what’s funny is that I really [am not the one pulling them in]; the girls do it,” he said.

“See, what happens is, when you have some really good players, the other really good players want to play with them.”

He is just content that the girls are able to enjoy the entire experience.

“I know that years and years from now, these kids will remember this forever. . . . I still remember it like it was yesterday, winning this tournament in ’78,” he said.

Ray and his wife fund TeamONE with his investment advising company, New England Schooner Inc., serving as a sponsor.

“The problem with youth sports in general, is that they become for-profit,” he said.

“They’re charging for bags, for equipment, ice time, and that’s just their job, that’s their business, so that’s fine. But when I grew up it was not for profit really, and so we kind of try to bring back the old days a little bit, make it fun, and that’s what we do just to give back.”

Taylor C. Snow can be reached at taylor.snow@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @taylorcsnow.
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