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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 29, 2011

Dutchmen hockey wins with improbable comeback

SCOTIA –– With 13 seconds remaining in regulation play on Tuesday, senior Aaron Hull scooped up a loose puck and headed toward the North Rockland goal all alone. His Guilderland/Mohonasen team had scored two goals in the previous five minutes to tie the game and this was his chance to send them home with an improbable victory.

Hull shot the puck through goalie Anthony DePinto’s legs with eight seconds left for the 3-to-2 win. Not knowing what to do in celebration, he skated all the way to the other end of the ice as teammates tried to chase him down. Meanwhile, DePinto chucked his goal stick in frustration.

The Mohawks Holiday Tournament game at the Schenectady County Recreational Facility had been rather uneventful until the Dutchmen’s Ryan Ghizzoni scored with 5:19 left in the third period.

“This feels really good, really awesome,” Hull said after the game, noting that he’s never been in a situation like that before in his four years of varsity hockey. “I didn’t know what to do. I guess I got lucky.”

However, Hull executed the winning goal rather flawlessly. On his way to the goal, he checked the clock, then noticed the opening in DePinto’s legs. Game over.

“I knew I was by myself, so I wanted to see how much time was left,” Hull said. “My girlfriend said she would like me just the same if I scored or not.”

The Dutchmen seemed to be heading toward a 1-6-1 record, but Head Coach John DeRubertis said that everything changed for the better when his team started sending bodies to the net in the third period. “The first two goals came from that,” he said. “I felt like we deserved to play better.”

Ghizzoni started the incredible rally with a nice move, skating in from DePinto’s left, and flipping the puck over the goalie’s right shoulder. Four minutes later, with Guilderland/Mohonasen on the power play, Bram Peterson found Andrew Mundweiler on the doorstep and Mundweiler scored to tie the game.

A celebration ensued, but no one imagined what would come next.

DeRubertis told The Enterprise that Hull was in perfect position. “He followed the puck and finished it up,” said DeRubertis. “This is a huge boost for our team.”

The Dutchmen were coming off a 5-to-1 loss to Bethlehem in the annual Wooden Skate Game on Friday. Guilderland/Mohonasen doesn’t have a very deep line-up, but DeRubertis said that the players are pulling together. “They’re more concerned with how the team does than how much time they get,” he said.

Guilderland and Mohonasen combined teams last season because both schools’ numbers were down. Hull, a Mohonasen student, said that last year was spent finding chemistry, but now “we’re all buddies,” he said.

There’s a certain amount of luck involved with hockey, but DeRubertis was able to gauge the commitment level of the Dutchmen after Tuesday’s win. Some of his players truly care about doing well.

On Wednesday, Guilderland/Mohonasen lost the tournament final to Burnt Hills/Ballston Lake, 4 to 2. Ghizzoni scored two goals in the second period off assists from Mundweiler, Peterson, and Shane Shields.

“Scoring really isn’t one of our strengths, so this is a huge deal,” said Peterson, who had two assists on Tuesday. “It all comes from hard work.”

— By Jordan J. Michael

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