Wings of Steel Win Opening Round in Marlborough
Friday, April 11, 2014

Hesham Nassar scored three goals and Mike Mauger added a goal plus 3 assists to lead the Wings of Steel to a 5-2 win in the opening round of the 2014 USA Disabled Hockey Festival in Marlborough Massachusetts, against a much bigger (in size) team called the Polar Express, a combined team.

The Wings of Steel regular goalie has aged-out (18 years old) and was unable to compete in this tournament but were very fortunate to recruit a goalie, named Mike Reiner, and he was outstanding from the very beginning as his first save of the game was stopping a breakaway early in the first period.

Hesham, or “E” as he is known in the locker room, put the Wings up 1-0 after Mauger hit the post. E was there to put home the rebound and the Wings led midway through the first period. Mauger and E would team up again later in the period for a 2-0 lead.

When playing with a new goalie for the first time, your defense needs to communicate and the forwards need to back check more. Led by Captain Steve Potter, along with Mauger, aka Buddha, who played both ways the whole game, this was a team effort, second to none. And when there was a breakdown, Reiner was there to shut the door.

After E completed his hat trick midway through the second period to put the Wings up 3-0, with the period winding down, the Express finally broke through to cut the lead to 3-1 late in the period, but the highlight in that period came in the final 30 seconds when JoJo Costa would score her first career league goal. When asked after the game how exciting it was, scoring her first goal at the USA Hockey Fest, she responded, “It was cool.”

Leading 4-1 and with Reiner stopping everything thrown at him the Wings were in control. Mauger had a penalty called on him and the Express capitalized to cut the lead to 4-2.

Determined to get that goal back, Buddha stole the puck in the corner and stick handled it to the top of the circle and lifted a shot into the top corner to ice the game at 5-2.

The Wings of Steel will need a good night’s sleep as they play two games tomorrow, Pennsylvania’s Sitting Bulls in the morning and the Chicago Hornets later at 5:50 p.m. Tonight they will party with their new friend, Mike Reiner, a goalie with a promising future in Sled Hockey.

Note: The Sled Wings forward tried getting our Captain Potter off his game and mistakenly dropped his sticks and gloves...luckily for the Sled Wings kid, Potter was in no mood to spar, or we’d be talking knockout.

ALSO of NOTE: This was Mike Reiner’s first win as a Goalie, a real indication of great things for his career as a goalie. Now if we can just get him to visit us on weekends in New Jersey starting in September next year, all would be right in Coach Valentine’s world.

Written by Mike Costantino (SJIceHockey.com)