By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com
Call him Mr. Undefeated. Nicholas Pineo came out of the 2022-23 USPHL Premier season as the goaltender with the most wins without losing a single game during the regular season.
Pineo put up a 12-0-0-0 record for the Hudson Havoc. The New York Aviators’ Blake Hazelton was the only other Premier goaltender able to attain 10 wins (10-0-0-0) without suffering a single loss of any kind (one of his wins was with the Ogden Mustangs before being acquired by Hudson in November). Pineo, an ‘02 from Grand Forks, N.D., now brings that winning pedigree to SUNY-Morrisville for 2023-24.
“The Hudson Havoc was an excellent place to grow as a person and player, [including] working on your game on and off the ice at C1 athletics. Scott Sturgeon brought me to the Hudson Havoc and I am very grateful for the opportunity he gave me and many other players in Hudson,” said Pineo of his successful run that saw the Havoc push all the way into Nationals. “Aaron Freer did a very good job as our goaltending coach. He worked with the goalies once a week and was available to reach out to anytime. It helped me a lot having someone that is seeing something I’m not while in the net and making the adjustments after breaking it down.”
Pineo’s only loss of the season was unfortunately the one that saw Hudson’s season come to an end in the Nationals. However, it was also out of Nationals where Pineo’s conversations began with Morrisville.
“I started talking to Morrisville right after Nationals and went on a visit to Morrisville after Nationals. They liked that I was aggressive in the net and my play style,” said Pineo. “On the hockey side, what really interested me was the opportunity to play on a very competitive team in a good conference. On the school side, I felt like Morrisville Is a place where I can go and get a great education and have the ability to have success in the future.”
Pineo is planning on studying business management at Morrisville, which competes (for all sports) in the State University of New York Athletic Conference, or SUNYAC. Helping him to prepare for a potentially successful career in the NCAA was his integral season playing in the USPHL Premier, he said.
“Playing college NCAA rules in USPHL games and the amount of NCAA teams watching games. I think going to Nationals really helped as well because so many NCAA schools were in attendance,” he said.
It may be a few hours until summer officially begins, but don’t expect Pineo to be going out for too much fun in the sun, as he knows he’ll need to buckle down to be ready to be an impact player with Morrisville.
“Getting stronger and faster in the net, and getting ready for the pace of play NCAA is played at,” said Pineo, when asked for his off-season agenda.
The USPHL congratulates Nicholas Pineo, his family, the Hudson Havoc and SUNY-Morrisville for his commitment.