Baldwin earned a surprising 5-4 win over Hicksville in the Conference I opener Friday afternoon behind Mike Ainbinder's game-winner with 13 seconds left.
But Bruins coach Rich Garguilo said the game was really won on the defensive end. Notably, junior Derick Darnulc, who held Hicksville star Joey Leonard, who came into the game with 10 goals and five assists in three games, without a point.
"He was what won the game for us," Garguilo said of Darnulc.
Granted, conditions were such that offense was hard to come by. Yet, for Garguilo, it was very pleasing to see his team, which he said is still "in development," play so well against a top-notch opponent.
Goalie Brett Dadiego made 16 saves, including numerous in the first half of the highlight reel variety. He, Darnulc and fellow defenders Bryan Crespo and Mack Ogrodnick did an excellent job scooping up ground balls and getting the offense out in transition, especially late in the game when it mattered most.
Things won't get any easier for the Bruins with games at Massapequa and at Oceanside next week. But they're certainly off to a good start.