By Joe Soccoa

There is always need for goalies everywhere you go. When you are nearly seven feet tall on skates it’s even better. Stephen Mundinger, goalie for the New York Aviators has committed to play division one hockey for the Main Black Bears. The announcement came Thursday.

His game hasn’t been the fact he is so tall but his athleticism. Earlier in the season head coach Mike Stanaway had talked about Mundinger saying, “when you watch him play you can see how athletic he really is and how well he moves for a big man. Like we often say to describe him, he is 6’7 but plays like he has the athleticism of a player that is 5’9.” This shouldn’t come as surprise because Mundinger had been spectacular this year for the Aviators and is deservingly got the call to play for Maine. It’s pretty impressive to think Mundinger wasn’t playing organized hockey up until a few years ago. The fact he has come a long way that included hard work with New York Islanders skating coach Barbara Williams and his goaltending coach Ken Boyce.

It’s a rarity for a Tier III junior player to gain the interest of NCAA Div. I schools. It’s hard enough to find quality Div. III programs in fact. But Mundinger is a rarity, with his size and athleticism.  A native of Smithtown, New York, Mundinger finished his season with the Aviators with a 24-8-4 record to go along with an impressive 0.936 save percentage. He led the entire NA3EHL this season in save percentage, while also in the rare situation of facing the most shots and making the most saves. He also ranked in the top 6 in goals against average.

“I am very happy for Stephen and the opportunity that he has been given with the University of Maine.  He is a player and person of very high character and I know he is going to be a fantastic player for the Black Bears,” stated Aviators GM/Head Coach Mike Stanaway.  When the announcement came Thursday team Owner Jim Loughran couldn’t be happier. “Stephen is all you can ask for in a player both on and off the ice. His work ethic has certainly paid off and I honestly believe he will only continue to get better. We couldn’t be more prouder as an organization for his success.”

The sky is the limit for the big goaltender and on behalf of the Aviators organization we wish him nothing but the best and good luck as the Maine Black Bears await!