When the Moriah Mountaineers and Kushner Cobras faced each other during the season, the thrilling matchup kept everyone on the edge of their seats throughout the game. Kushner had a two goal lead going into the third, and Moriah was able to pull away with a come-from-behind win. With that game in recent memory, we all knew that Thursday night’s championship match-up between the two schools—this time with everything on the line—was going to be a riveting experience. The two teams did not disappoint.
Both teams started out the game with strong defenses. And on top of that, both goalies, Gabriel Volodarsky for Moriah and Simon Rosenfeld for Kushner, were at the top of their game, rising to the occasion to play the best of playoff hockey, saving shot after shot. Each team definitely had some good scoring opportunities. Moriah’s best opportunity came after a penalty from Kushner at the end of the second period, putting Moriah on a power play, where they had about a dozen good looks at the net. But Rosenfeld continued to bail them out, standing up strongly and killing off the minute and half power play. Sixth graders Alex Pomeranz and Noah Sosland, Moriah’s highest scoring line during the season, were not able to connect, despite many opportunities. After two scoreless periods, the two teams headed to the locker room knowing that this could be anyone’s game.
And as the third period progressed, the teams continued to battle for scoring opportunities. Midway into the period, though, Kushner took advantage of a real opportunity, as Moriah took a double penalty, giving Kushner a three minute power play. With full pressure of the power play, Koby Eisenberg was able to put one past Moriah’s goalie, while crashing the rebound of a shot by Nathan Nussbaum. Moriah was able to kill off the second power play, with a big defensive stop from Max Levy and Bennett Burgida, but not before the damage was already done during the first power play. Kushner now had a 1-0 lead.
With just a few minutes remaining in the game, would Moriah be able to answer? Yes, they would. Almost immediately after ending the power play, Asher Rudman rejoined the game and took control of the ball. Controlling the ball in the Kushner zone, Rudman blasted a turn-around shot on net. And Ezra Alter was right there in front of the net, to put the rebound right back in, with half the net left wide open. Moriah answered. The score was now 1-1.
The momentum was now with Moriah, and they continued to place pressure in the Kushner zone. Finally they finished for another goal—David Rosen returning a rebound off of a shot from Ezra Alter. With just a few minutes left in the game, the tables had turned and it was now Moriah’s game to lose. Moriah finished the game in a defense 1-2-1 zone, and the tired Kushner team was not able to get much going in those final moments of the thrilling hockey game. Both teams put up a great fight, leaving everything on the court and Moriah was able to come up with the victory.
After the game, Rabbi Zev Kahane, Moriah’s coach, noted, “Winning this game was extremely meaningful to me, as I have the wonderful opportunity to also be the boy’s rebbe. We learn Torah on a high level each day in the classroom. And we get to play hockey on a high level after school, during practices and games. Winning the championship is a nice cherry on top to that beautiful combo. This is really what yeshiva league sports can be about.”
Congratulations to the Moriah Mountaineers, the 2020 YMSSA champions, coached by Rabbi Kahane and Jordan Pomerantz, on their victory: Ezra Alter, Bennett Burgida, Adam Haimm, Jared Helwani, David Kahn, Josh Lebovitch, Max Levy (A), Bennett Lissauer, Jonas Nelkin, Alex Pomerantz, David Rosen (A), Sam Rosen, Asher Rudman (C), Jakey Solomon, Noah Sosland, Caleb Szlamkowitcz, Gabriel Volodarsky, Jack Yunis and Elijah Zackai.
A special thank you to TABC for hosting the game, to TABC TV’s Elisha Alter, Eli Blumenfeld and David Waltuch for broadcasting the game and to the YMSSA hockey commissioner Dov Elefant.
By Moriah Sports