Gintoli brothers named captains for Deaflympics hockey team
Peter and Garrett Gintoli of Shelton were recently named captain and alternate captain, respectively, of the 23-player roster of elite deaf hockey players representing the United States in the 19th Winter Deaflympics to be held Dec. 12-21 in Valtellina Valchiavenna, Italy.
The competition, organized since 1924 by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf, is sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, IOC.
Teams from Canada, Finland, Kazakhstan, Russia and the United States will compete at the 2019 games. The Gintolis are two of 16 players who have previously competed internationally as members of U.S. teams that won a bronze medal at the 2015 Deaflympics held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, and a gold medal at the 2017 World Championships in Amherst, N.Y. This year’s team members range in age from 16 to 34 and hail from 14 states.
“The Gintoli brothers are well respected by their peers and the coaching staff,” said Joe Gotfryd, head coach of Team USA. “They lead by example both on and off the ice. The combination of their hockey skill and natural leadership style made them the right choice for the 2019 team.”
Peter is going into his fifth international competition. As captain of the team at the World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships in 2017, Peter led the team to the gold medal.
Peter currently works as a marketing analyst for Connecticut Distributors, Inc. He is the head coach of the Elite Hockey Program 16U Midget Minor team. Previously, he played for the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs in the Southern Professional Hockey League, Bay State Breakers in the EJHL and the NCAA Division III Salve Regina University.
This will be Garrett’s fourth international competition. He was voted the Most Valuable Player at the World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships in 2017.
Garrett currently plays for the Milwaukee School of Engineering Raiders (NCHA, DIII), where he studies mechanical engineering. He was recognized as the MSOE Offensive Player of the Year for the 2018-19 season. He previously played for the Valley Jr. Warriors of the Eastern Hockey League and the South Shore Kings.
“We’re excited about our team for the Winter Deaflympics. Their passion for the game of hockey and pride in representing the United States will make them a force at the rink,” said General Manager Richard Dumas. “The team will be competing in Italy with one goal, winning a gold medal.”
The team operates under the guidelines of USA Hockey and the USA Deaf Sports Federation. To qualify, athletes must have a hearing loss of at least 55 dB in their “better ear.” Hearing aids, cochlear implants and the like are not allowed during competition to ensure that all athletes play on the same level.
AHIHA funds the team through private donations as well as support from the USA Hockey Foundation. Donations to help team expenses can be made at bit.ly/AHIHAdonations or mailed to the organization at 9345 Harding Ave., Evanston, IL 60203-1320. For information, visit http://www.2019deaflympics.com/