Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mission Accomplished-Wings win Title!!

Day 3: Virtua Wings of Steel Bring Home the Cup for Division ‘C’ Youth National Championship of 2015 USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival
Their journey began on Thursday night when the Wings of Steel all gathered from various South Jersey towns to meet at the Buffalo Marriott. Their mission:  they wanted to win the Disabled Festival Tournament for the team’s out-going seniors - Steve Potter, Nickolai Jewell and Hesham ‘E’ Nassar.
 On Sunday morning they accomplished that mission with a 4-2 win over a scrappy team from Minnesota, the Wild.

Having gone 3-0 in their first three games, the Wings were faced with playing the title game without their starting goalie,  Nate ‘Buzz’ Costa.

Coach Valentine held a team meeting on Saturday night and stressed defense first, with team Captain and defenseman Mike ‘Buddhaman’ Mauger in goal, Coach Valentine implored his team to think defense first and when the opportunity came to break out, take advantage of odd-man rushes.

Jesse Beck scored just thirty seconds into the game to give the Wings a 1-0 lead. Isaiah Beck scored on a breakaway and the Wings were up 2-0. Meanwhile the Wings were limiting the opportunities for the Wild and controlled the play for most of the first period. Isaiah made it 3-0 before the Wild would get one by Mauger to cut the lead to 3-1.

Isaiah would respond on a break again to give the Wings some breathing room at 4-1. Late in the third period Minnesota would get one back to close to within 4-2 but  the Wings, remembering what Coach Valentine talked about the night before, but up a fortress around Mauger and the Wild would never threaten.

Mission accomplished, Wings!! Congratulations to Coach Paul Valentine and Coach Tom Brake, along with assistant Ernie Jewell and Team  Equipment Manager Dennis Senk and pushers Chris Everwine and Mike Goebel.
The Wings sled hockey family is stronger than ever.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wings Score Late to Edge Wild

Wings Score Late to Edge Wild
Day 2, Game 3, Wings of Steel vs. Minnesota Wild

Isaiah Beck snapped a 1-1 tie with three minutes left in the game as the Wings of Steel defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-1, advancing both teams to the title game in the Disable Festival in Buffalo.

Jesse Beck scored midway through the first period on a breakaway as he slid the puck under the goalie and found the long side. That 1-0 lead held up until late in the third period, the Wild would get the tying goal on a shot from the point that was just under the crossbar.

After taking a much-calculated time out, Coach Valentine addressed the team and stressed playing solid defense, put his top line out there and told Isaiah to go score.

Inspired by his Coach’s instructions, Beck took the face-off at center ice and split the defense and went top shelf to give the Wings a 2-1 lead. Moments later Isaiah would add his second of the night to ice the game for the Wings.

This was the toughest test of the tournament, and just what the team needed to realize this was not going to be easy. With just one win away the Wings are focused and determined to close out this festival on a positive note.

Either way, the experience at USA Hockey Disabled festival has been great and the memories, everlasting.

Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 USA Disabled Hockey Festival, Wings Skate Past Sled Preds of Nashville

Day One, Game Two, 2015 USA Disabled Hockey Festival in Buffalo
Wings Skate Past Sled Preds of Nashville
by Mike Costantino

Isaiah Beck continued his torrid scoring streak adding two more goals as the Wings of Steel defeated the Nashville Sled Preds 4-1. The win caps a 2-0 day for our team and puts them in good position to advance to the finals. Hesham "E" Nassar and JoJo Costa scored the other goals for the Wings.

Beck opened the scoring in the first period going top shelf. Later in the period Mike ‘BuddhaMan’ Mauger broke down the left side and after his shot was saved, Nassar was there to put home the rebound and the lead was 2-0. Mauger appeared to give the Wings a 3-0 lead but had the goal wiped out on a crease violation.

JoJo would convert on a breakaway to make it 3-0 and Beck would add his second of the game for a 4-0 lead. The Sled Preds would score late in the second period to cut the lead to 4-1.

The third period was almost entirely played in the offensive zone for the Wings and they were able to run the clock, without adding anymore goals. Next up is a morning date with Buffalo. Tonight it’s off to the festival party.

2015 USA Hockey Disabled Festival - A Good Day To Be a Beck

2015 USA Hockey Disabled Festival at Northtown Center
Day One, Game One, Youngstown/DC vs. Wings of Steel
A Good Day To Be a Beck

 Isaiah Beck scored a hat trick and brother Jesse added a goal to give the Wings of Steel an opening round 5-3 win over a team from Ohio as play opened up in Buffalo for the Annual Disabled Hockey Festival. 

The Wings jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against former teammate Mike Reiner, who got his first start of the season in nets for Youngstown. Mike played with the Wings tournament team last year, so it was bitter-sweet playing against our former teammate.

Youngstown cut the lead to 2-1 late in the first period. Wings got the lead back to 3-1 as Isaiah scored on a breakaway midway through the second period, but the scrappy kids from Ohio would not go away and cut the lead to 3-2 heading into the final period. Mike “BuddhaMan” Mauger gave the Wings some breathing room as he lifted a shot from between the circle to make it 4-2. 

Ohio scored a goal with about 90 seconds left, but Isaiah scored an insurance goal to ice the game. The journey for the Wings is just beginning as they want to win the championship for our graduating seniors. Still, there is work to be done, but it’s a good start. Now, it’s time to rest up and get ready for our second game later today.