On a roll: roller hockey goes undefeated after 12-0 win


Madelyn Omelina

Senior Aaron Pangilinan (9) played a good offense throughout his last game, scoring a goal and making at least five assists. The game took place on Saturday, May 15th against Mar Vista High.

Madelyn Omelina, Staff writer

The Bonita Vista High (BVH) co-ed roller hockey team made history on Saturday, May 15, with their 12 to 0 win against Mar Vista High (MVH), giving them first place in the league with an undefeated season and their first shutout of the season. 

“We were very confident and very excited. It was our senior night and there was a lot on the line that we knew we could [achieve] if we just put in the effort,” roller hockey Captain and junior Diego Nunes (14) said. “I wasn’t worried at all. I was more excited [about] actually going out there and seeing the team finish off the season strong.” 

Going into the game, Head Coach Keith Quigley stated that he expected a “solid game with all around team effort, a stress on passing and making quality shots on the goal.” His expectations were met. 

I wasn’t worried at all. I was more excited [about] actually going out there and seeing the team finish off the season strong.”

— roller hockey Captain and junior Diego Nunes

“Now that everyone’s developed their skills, there’s a lot more interesting passing and movement on the field. That’s really what people come to watch hockey for, so it’s great that we can put on the show for the audience as well,” Nunes said. 

For the first eight minutes of the game there was no notable progress; however, by the end of the first 15 minute third, the Barons took the lead with a score of 6 to 0. Senior Aaron Pangilinan (9) and junior Alvaro Ruiz (13) showed themselves as a notable duo in the game when they scored two of the six goals together, and both contributed separately to other goals made in the third. 

“I scored my first goal this season. I was pretty happy that I got five or more assists,” Pangilinan said. “[It’s] a really good feeling that you’re part of the play and contributing yourself to be part of the team.” 

Pangilinan was the only senior on the team this year, but that didn’t stop the team from celebrating him as they would on any other senior night. The team made posters for Pangilinan that hung facing the rink during the game and gave him a goodie bag and leis after the game. 

“It was pretty thoughtful that they made a poster for me and took time out of their day to make something for me. I thought it was really cool that they did that,” Pangilinan said.

After switching sides, BVH started off strong in the second third by getting three goals early on. Pangilinan made two assists to Ruiz, and junior Keala Nunes (7) made the third goal. BVH continued to work hard as a team and kept the puck on their offensive side for most of the third. The second third ended with a score of 9 to 0. 

“It makes me feel good that we’re doing good as a team. We had good communication [and] we connected with each other,” Ruiz said.

The team showed their knowledge of the game and the newer players showed their skills when they got three more goals made in the final third of the game. Freshman Andrew Madrigal (18) scored one goal and sophomore Noah Burke (19) scored two more goals, bringing the score to 12 to 0.  

“It was great to see [the second line] have a lot more control of the puck. I feel like they were able to stop the other team from advancing their work [by] getting back on defense faster to really help out our goalie. That contributed to getting a shutout this game, which is something we haven’t been able to do in the last year,” D. Nunes said. 

After the goals were scored and there were only a few minutes left of the game, Pangilinan got the only penalty in the game for falling over the goalie. When asked about the penalty, Pangilinan laughed since “It was pretty funny that I got put into [the] box in the last two minutes of me being on the rink,” he said. However, the Barons did not let the penalty affect them, and they were able to keep the score at 12 to 0 to end the game, giving the team their first shutout. 

“You can see everything [the team has] been working towards, and all the little fixes they made really showed in this game, especially with the shutout,” D. Nunes said. “It’s like everything we worked for during the season we perfected, and were able to actually get it in this game,” D. Nunes said. 

Quigley, D. Nunes and other teammates were proud and excited about the shutout, saying that the goalie and freshman Eliana Santos “finally got her donut.” 

“I think that’s what I was most excited about [with] the shutout, giving something the goalie could be proud of. Sure, the offense gets a lot of the glory because they’re scoring, but the shutout really signifies what our goalie Eli could do,” D. Nunes said. 

For D. Nunes, one of the best things about the game was that it was a reflection of the team’s hard work and improvement, both throughout the season and in the past few years. D. Nunes, Pangilinan and Ruiz all noted that there was much improvement in the team from their previous seasons, where they only won less than five games in a 20 game season. 

“I think [being undefeated this season] makes me and the whole team proud. It shows that you start from the bottom and you build up to the top,” Ruiz said. “[It’s] always with teamwork and practice. It’s connecting [passes and having] communication.” 

Nunes thinks having more experience on the team this year helped them both win games and teach new players. He also thinks it helped them build a program for the future, especially since most of the players started together three years ago and worked up together. 

“We have a great group of young men and women. It’s not easy to win all your games and we did just that. They deserve it,” Quigley said. “When you play like a team and work hard, good things happen.” 

Even though the roller hockey team had a shortened season, everyone was grateful to play at all since they thought the season would not exist this year. Pangilinan said it was sad having his last season be shorter, but he was glad he got to play on the team. 

“The fact that we got any game time was just so much fun. Everyone was so grateful because we love the sport,” D. Nunes said. “We didn’t really get robbed of the experience […] we’re just glad to be out there playing hockey. That’s really all we wanted, and that’s what we got.”

Nunes explained that the team’s records, place in the league and points (based on goals and assists) were all set after the game on the 15. However, to give the kids more playing time, Quigley worked with the other coaches in the league and arranged a tournament that took place on May 22. 

The Barons kept their undefeated status and took first place. They had another shutout against MVH and then played Otay Ranch High (ORH) for the final two games. In the championship game they beat ORH with a score of 3 to 2. 

“It’s definitely worth joining. The coaches are really good about new players with zero experience. I joined with zero experience and they were really good about teaching me all the fundamentals and basics; it got me to where I am now,” Pangilinan said, addressing potential future BVH roller hockey players and teams. 

Next year, the team plans to keep working on passing, skating and shooting, as well as team bonding. D. Nunes and Ruiz both hope to work with the newer players and help them improve to where the returners are. No matter what, they plan to keep the team’s philosophy in action. 

“The thing about the Bonita team is we’re all about effort […] our coach doesn’t value winning, he doesn’t value beating out the other team. He values effort, teamwork and team building […] and that effort really shows because after three years of just working and putting our best effort, we’ve had a season like this,” D. Nunes said. “It’s a really respectful team based on building skills instead of winning, and that’s one thing I really love about this team.”