On Sunday, March 18th, the SAR Sting faced off against the Frisch Cougars in the 38th annual MYHSAL Boys Varsity Floor Hockey Championship at Lawrence Middle School in Lawrence, NY. Following a 9-4-1 season and 4th seed in the Western Division, the Frisch Cougars upset the Eastern Division Champion DRS Wildcats, following it up with a semi-final victory over their Bergen County rivals-- the #2 seeded TABC Storm. SAR finished the season 13-0-1 winning playoff games against Northshore and HAFTR to advance to the championship and an opportunity to win its first Varsity title in the schools 15-year history.
While SAR won the two previous regular-season meetings, both teams featured a bit of a new look. Frisch made a goaltending switch mid-year and was without star player Benjy Feintuch who was out with a lower-body injury. Meanwhile, SAR lost star forward Jonathan Haims to a back injury, though the dynamic forward/defenseman Louis Tuchman returned to the team following a brief hiatus.
The game began as a ping-pong like affair--back and forth with few scoring chances for either side. Good strong forechecking from SAR senior forwards Judah Fortgang, alternate Captain Romi Harcsztark, Jacob Nayowitz and junior's Ethan Green and Louis Tuchman led to numerous scoring chances but was denied by terrific Frisch goaltender, Isaac Markovitz. The game remained tied after one period of play.
SAR came out strong in the second period, with good offensive pressure from Senior defensemen and Captains Shua Friedman and Jason Burian along with tough physical defense from senior Efraim Herstic and junior Aytan Waxman. Then with 5:30 gone by in the second period, SAR Captain, Gordie Kolb, put SAR on the board first -- beating the Frisch netminder off a faceoff play win by Jacob Nayowitz and smart positioning by Captain Jason Burian who played with a broken figure injured earlier in the game. With just under 4 minutes to play in the second period, Senior forward, Judah Fortgang, deflected Aryeh Bloom's clearing attempt, sending a pass to the middle where Kolb scored his second of the game. However, Frisch responded and scored a minute later. Frisch Senior forward Maury Bauer flipped a backhander into the wide open SAR net to cut the deficit in half. The teams entered the second intermission with SAR leading 2-1.
The third period was a bit chippy, with the teams trading penalties throughout. Sar goaltender Henri Kolb stepped up his game to an elite level and blocked everything that came his way, including a breakway from Frisch star Joey Tropp keeping the Sting ahead. With 5:17 remaining and SAR on a 4-on-2 power play, Kolb completed the hat-trick with a terrific short-side top shelf wrister, giving SAR a decisive 2 goal lead. With 4:45 to go, following a bit of jawing, the teams entered into a mini-kerfuffle, culminating in the ejections of Frisch forward Joe Tropp and SAR defenseman Jason Burian. With 3:49 and teams playing 3-on-3, Kolb scored his 4th of the night banging in the puck off a loose scramble in front of the Frisch net. Gordie's legendary MVP performance continued, as he added the icing on the cake with his 5th goal on the power play--a beautiful backhand top shelf-- with just under 4 minutes to go off a nice feed from Senior Captain Shua Friedman, putting the final touch to an SAR 5-1 victory.
This huge win marks the first ever Boys Varsity Hockey Championship in SAR HS history. Brothers Howie & Noah Falkenstein win their first Varsity Hockey Championship as coaches.
SAR 5 FRISCH 1
1-0 SAR - G. KOLB (NAYOWITZ)
2-0 SAR - G. KOLB (FORTGANG, BURIAN)
2-1 SAR - FRISCH GOAL BY BAUER (LEVINE)
3-1 SAR - PPG G. KOLB (FRIEDMAN)
4-1 SAR - G. KOLB (HARCSZTARK)
5-1 SAR - PPG G. KOLB (FRIEDMAN)
SAR 2-6 ON PP , 1-1 ON PK
KOLB - 5G
FRIEDMAN - 2A
NAYOWITZ, FORTGANG, BURIAN, HARCZSTARK - 1A
BAUER - 1G
LEVINE - 1A
1) GORDIE KOLB - 5G (GAME MVP)
2) SHUA FRIEDMAN - 2A
3) HENRI KOLB - WINNING GOALIE