Lawrence, NY - On a brisk, sunny Sunday afternoon, the TABC Storm and the Frisch Cougars headed out to Lawrence Middle School to battle for the JV Hockey Championship. TABC came in seeking revenge for last year’s 2-0 championship game loss to the their cross-town rivals. The Cougars, the Western Conference #2 seed, returned to the championship for the 3rd straight season via a first-round home win over the DRS Wildcats, and a semi-final road-defeat of the RAMBAM Ravens. The top-seeded Storm punched their return ticket to LMS, by beating the Flastbush Falcons and the HAFTR Hawks, both at The WeatherCenter. During the regular season, Frisch and TABC clashed twice, with each team winning on the road. The rubber match would not disappoint.
Once the pregame festivities settled down, it was time to hit the hardwood. The game started off rather slowly, with neither team getting many chances. Once the nerves subsided, both teams began to create opportunities. Despite many chances for both teams, TABC and Frisch headed into the 1st intermission with nothing to show on the board.
The 2nd period brought more of the same, as the Storm and the Cougars both hit posts and were bailed out by their goaltenders when they needed it most. If one period of scoreless hockey wasn’t enough to raise the intensity, a second shutout period surely did the trick. As the teams headed into the second intermission, the tension was palpable. The crowd couldn’t resist standing and screaming their heads off.
To start the 3rd period, both teams came out a little fearful, terrified that any little mistake could cost them the chance at the trophy. After a few stiff minutes, the teams picked up the pace, to a high, very-intense, level of play. A little under three minutes into the period, coincidental roughing minors were called, leaving the play to 3-on-3. The Cougars sent out, arguably the most formidable threesome in the league, team captains Jason Alter, Ari Baruch, and Elliot Eisner. For the Storm, it was up to Zach Levy, Yonatan Naor, and Natan Rifkind to take care of business. About halfway through the 3-on-3 action, Levy picked up a loose ball, dribbled around a Frisch defender, and deked out the goalie to give the Storm the 1-0 lead. However, if there is one characteristic that defines Frisch hockey, it is their will to keep fighting until the final buzzer. For the remaining 8 minutes, the Cougars peppered TABC goalie, Charles Gibber with shots, to no avail.
After all was said and done, the TABC Storm were able to claim their 9th JV hockey title, the 7th under the direction of all-time great, Hall of Fame coach, Norman Blumenthal.
Frisch’s Big-3 came to play, as did goalie Evan Salomon, who played an excellent game against TABC’s relentless offense.
The Storm got major contributions from all who touched the court. Goal scorer Zach Levy took home the MVP trophy, while offensemen Ben Englander, Shlomo Gellman, Jonah Gerson, Ving Levy, Jake Rothenberg, and Ezra Seplowitz, continued to bring the pressure, hustling every single shift they got. While their offense was stout all season, TABC's strength was in their defense and goaltending. Headed by Naor and Rifkind the defense also boasted freshmen standouts Eli Blumenfeld and Baruch Karpov. Lead by Gibber, the Storm goalies combined to give up only 5 goals all season. It all would have been for naught had TABC not ended the season with the 1st place trophy in hand. Thankfully for them, they attained their season’s ultimate goal of raising a banner to the rafters of the WeatherCenter.