Saturday, November 21, 2015
By Lee Samuels
Las Vegas – With the game tied and time ticking down to the final precious seconds, Vincent Dekumbis of the WSHL Las Vegas Storm, shook loose and went straight to the San Diego Sabers net.
He took a high-speed route from the blue line to enemy territory, then fired a wrist shot and – while time stood still for a micro second – the puck blasted into the net. It went in top shelf left with exactly 0:027 left to play. The blue shirt Storm players celebrated. The players from San Diego were crushed, all down on the ice.
Las Vegas, in a must win game per head coach Gabe Gauthier, won 7-6 in an electrfying game which had ultra heat, hard checks, fights, spectacular goal scoring and bigtime saves.
The win halted a mind-numbing 0-9-2 funk the Storm was trying to get out of on a cold, wintery night at the Las Vegas Ice Center.
The two teams traded leads and it all came down to the final moments on the North Rink. With the game tied 6-6, and time running out in regulation play, Filip Hedvall of Las Vegas won a puck battle behind the Las Vegas net. He chipped a pass to J.C. Lachapelle on the left side. J.C. wired a pass over to DeKumbis who had shook loose from the pack of San Diego players.
Dekumbus said he knew exactly what shot to take.
“The San Diego goalie was sort of small and he was crouched down so I knew I was going to elevate the puck,” Dekumbis said. “I went straight in and took a wrist shot top shelf left.”
It was the biggest goal of the season for Las Vegas delivered by a player from Switzerland. Dekumbis, who has 19 goals including two in this game, is from a small town called Fribourg which has a population of 38,500. Its city limits are just 3.6 square miles. Dekumbis said he began playing hockey there when he was three years old.
It was the Storm’s assistant coach and super scout Matt Johnson who spotted Dekumbis at a CCM Showcase in Denver three years ago. “Vincent had all of the right fundamentals – strong on his skates, a good hockey sense, knew the game,” said coach Matt. “We signed Vincent at the Showcase and we also signed Arrigo Burgener and Kyle Pacheco. Kyle was our team captain last season.”
After Dekumbis scored the game-winner the Storm players went straight for their goalie Andre Spens who was under heavy fire the entire game. Andre got his first win as a Storm goalie.
Goal scorers for Las Vegas included DeKumbis (his 18th, 19th – he wasn’t sure how many he has this season), Filip Hedvall (5th, 6th), the ultra skilled defenseman Nikita Tsvetov (4th), Dawson Rowley (2nd) and Payton Wright (2nd).