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In the NHL, the standard for forwards/centers to determine that they had a good season was they scored 20 goals. That meant that you were productive, despite taking 80 games to accumulate the twenty goals. Michael Wilson is 13 years old and plays on the Virtua Wings of Steel sled hockey team, and in 18 games this season Michael scored 21 goals. What makes this more impressive is that he could have score so much more. This season the Wings were by far the most superior team in the Atlantic Sled Hockey League, going 18-0 and winning the championship.

Head Coach Tom Brake does not believe in running up the score or embarrassing a team, in most games after the Wings would get a lead, he would tell his team no more goals. As parents we all know how difficult it is to tell your kids to stop doing something that comes naturally. Michael, a student at CW Lewis, lists Alexander Ovechkin as his favorite NHL player and tries to pattern his game around the way Ovechkin plays. With his team winning the districts this year, Michael feels that has been the highlight so far, and a last second loss to Ottawa in a tournament in Massachusetts is definitely one that hurts the most.

Michael dreams of trying out for the Junior team, but will have to wait till next year as you must be 14 years old, that’s one rule Michael would like to change. Tim Jones a former member of the Wings and a bronze medal winner on the 2006 Paralympics games in Torino has helped Michael become a better player and is someone Michael admires. Also having the support of his mom Patti and his pop-pop, who are always taking him to practice and encouraging him to keep working hard, is just as important. When he’s not playing sled hockey, Michael enjoys wings, watching his favorite movies like Wall-E, Dodgeball or Happy Gilmore. One thing that is a little different is that on his I-pod he has some country music along with hard rock, am interesting combination.

The best thing for the Wings is that Michael is only 13 which would surprise you because he is so lanky, and he will be around a few more seasons. My favorite Michael Wilson moment happened back in December, on a ride to Baltimore. My grandson has been on the team almost 4 years, never scored a goal. With my daughter Christina driving and Michael Wilson with us, I asked both the boys what was the top gift they wanted from Santa. My grandson wanted a laptop (which he got); Wilson wanted a new cell phone because he lost his (he got one). They asked me what I wanted. My response was “All I want is a goal scored by my grandson”.

Well late third period with the Wings ahead, Michael Wilson sets up my grandson in front of the net, he scores. We are all going crazy; I’m almost moved to tears. Michael Wilson skates over to the bench and says to me “Merry Christmas”. I am now moved to tears.

Written by Mike Costantino

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