By Jarett Greben
With eight minutes left in regulation time, the Great Neck Wolverines gained a rush of confidence after one of their defense men broke through Jericho’s defense, pulling a Wayne Gretzky play, skating from end to end, and putting the puck in the back of the opponent’s net.
On their home ice at Parkwood Rink, the team followed with a quick succession of three more goals. However, they didn’t have enough time to make a comeback, losing 8-5.
“It’s not about the wins and losses. It’s about the team work and the bond that the team has,” said Head Coach Blaine Aronovitch.
While the rivalry between South and North intensifies each year, the Wolverines High School Hockey Team combines athletic talent from both schools. Last year in their first season, the Wolverines, competing at the junior varsity level, grabbed first place in the regular season of the High School Hockey League of Nassau County.
The team also made it to the league playoff semi-finals and qualified for the New York State Tournament. With such a fierce start, the Wolverines made the leap this year to the varsity division.
In early November, the team skated to victory against Bethpage in their season opener. In the following weeks, however, the Wolverines took some rough hits. “We had two new goalies who took some time to gel with the team, and we had some unfortunate early season injuries that prevented us from having a full roster in many games,” said Assistant Coach Scott Zelniker.
Nonetheless, with only two seniors leaving next year, the Wolverines are confident that they will be able to improve their record. “The team proved to itself that it can compete at the varsity level,” said Coach Zelniker. “The team has a lot of heart. If we fall behind, we keep battling. We compete until the final buzzer.”