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.