April 23, 2024
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Noam Knights Defeat Yavneh Redhawks in 2016 Weiselberg Tournament

The 2016 Martin Weiselberg Memorial Hockey Tournament took place this past Sunday, in Yeshiva Har Torah in Queens, New York. Eight junior high hockey teams gathered to compete for the crown of the most prestigious and the longest running hockey tournament in any age group in the tri-state area. The teams were divided into groups of four, with two New York teams and two New Jersey teams in each section.

The morning session belonged to the New Jersey squads in both groups. Group A saw Moriah defeat defending champion HANC 1-0 on a second period goal by Jason Alter and solid goaltending by Ethan From in net. Judah Orlanski backstopped Yavneh to a 2-0 shutout of YCQ. In Group B, Noam, bolstered by two Elliot Eisner goals, defeated host Har Torah 4-0, before HALB salvaged the session for the New York side, defeating Kushner in a shootout 2-1 on a third period shootout goal by Ami Schreiber.

Following a break for lunch, Moriah and YCQ went to a shootout. The Mighty Ducks downed the defending runner-ups 2-1 when Alter converted his chance. Yavneh completed the Group A sweep by knocking out HANC with a 4-2 win, despite two goals by HANC’s Jonathan Yizhak. Two goals off the stick of Yavneh seventh grader Zach Levy made all the difference.

Group B saw Har Torah jump out to a 1-0 lead late in the 1st on a Yehuda Nenner goal. Kushner managed a third period comeback, with three goals in just over a two-minute stretch; this gave the Cobras life in the hunt for the playoffs. In the final game of the round-robin session, HALB and Noam went to a scoreless shootout, where 7 rounds in, Noam’s Eli Blumenfeld broke the deadlock, giving Noam the win. The loss for HALB placed them in a tie with Kushner, which according to tournament rules, was to be determined by a shootout. In the shootout, Jesse Koppel’s goal was not enough for the Cobras. Ariel Ifergan and Yoni Goldberg scored for HALB to send the Lions to the semifinals.

In the semifinals, upstart Yavneh knocked off rival Moriah 4-1 on two goals apiece by Levy and Ari Besterman, while Eisner and Jake Rothenberg combined for the 2-1 Noam victory. Noam goalie Charles Gibber had an all-day shutout streak snapped with 1:31 to go in the 3rd on a shot by Benjy Rose. This brought HALB within one, but they came no closer.

In the championship, Rothenberg and Eisner again led the charge, combining to give Noam a 3-0 lead that they held deep into the third period. Yavneh made things interesting on two late goals by Levy in just over a minute; they closed the margin to one. The Redhawks fought furiously for the last 30 seconds but the Knights held tough, closing out the tournament victory.

Eisner’s four goal day and overall impressive performance earned Tournament MVP honors. Eye-opening days by Levy and Gibber garnered two of the 10 All-Tournament award trophies, the rest of which will be awarded over the coming days. Levy’s seven goals ties a single-tournament record and puts him in prime position to potentially break the career scoring mark of 10 goals next year. Gibber’s two shutouts and three goals in four games were tops on the day, earning both First Team All-Tournament trophies, courtesy of Crown Trophy of Brooklyn. All participants received a gift bag with a tournament t-shirt and water bottle from LNS Enterprises and items from sponsors MTA and Fruits in Chocolate.

On the fundraising side of the event, YCQ earned the Contributor’s Cup championship for the second consecutive year. They once again broke the record, bringing in close to $3,000. The event shattered its goal, eclipsed its previous one-day mark, and crossed the $50,000 mark since the tournament’s inception.

The event was supported by other sponsors: Off the Wall Frozen Yogurt, Select Land Services, The Court Report, Camp Dovid and Pizza Nosh of Brooklyn. The Yeshiva Har Torah administration extended never-ending assistance to the event.

The event can be watched on its website at www.mwtournament.com and pictures, courtesy of Eliza Rinn, will be added over the upcoming days.

By Elliot Weiselberg

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