This past Sunday, the SAR junior varsity hockey team captured the first hockey championship in the school’s history, defeating the Rambam Ravens 7-6 in a thrilling game at Lawrence Middle School.
The SAR Sting came into the season viewed around the league as a young, inexperienced team that would compete, but were not the favorites to win a league championship this year. However, SAR defied expectations and came away with victory after victory en route to an undefeated 13-0 season.
After earning the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed, and defeating HANC in the quarterfinals and DRS in the semifinals, the Sting went into the championship game as slight underdogs. Rambam, who as mostly freshmen lost in the finals to TABC last season, entered the game also undefeated at 12-0, and was thought as the league’s top-team due to the skill and experience its sophomores owned. The general consensus by all who follow the league was that Rambam would come away with a close victory.
After some early chances by the Sting, Rambam defenseman Daniel Lichter slipped a shot by SAR goalie Jacob Nayowitz, giving Rambam a 1-0 lead only 1:03 into the game. SAR responded when sophomore Solomon Freilich put one past Rambam goalkeeper Daniel Petrokovsky to tie up the score at the 5:08 mark. Only:47 seconds later, freshman, Gordie Kolb scored to give SAR its first lead of the game at 2-1. Then, Rambam forward, Avi Orlow, tied the game up at two apiece with 4:27 remaining for the final 1st period goal.
The Sting then opened the scoring in the second stanza, only 1:07 in, as Kolb beat a Rambam defender to the ball and was able to one-hand a pass from behind the net to the slot, where a wide-open Freilich deposited his second of the game to give the Sting a 3-2 lead. Then, 3:32 into the second, Orlow tucked in his second of the game, this time shorthanded. Only:43 seconds later, Orlow scored again to complete his hat trick, banging home a rebound to give the Ravens a 4-3 lead. Then, with an abbreviated power play, Shua Friedman buried a Freilich rebound 5:36 into the 2nd to knot the game up at four apiece.
The scoring would not end there, as Kolb picked up a loose ball near his own net, stickhandled over the half-court line and fired a blazing wrister past Petrokovsky to give the Sting the lead for good with 5:23 remaining in the 2nd. With 2:47 left in the period, Sting freshman Ben Lasher won a deep faceoff to line mate Judah Fortgang, who trickled the ball past Petrokovsky to give the Sting some breathing room with the first two goal lead of the game at 6-4.
SAR had been a fantastic 3rd period team all year, and that held true in Sunday’s game. With 5 minutes left and SAR clinging to a 6-4 lead, the SAR power play would strike again. Kolb, working out of the right corner, turned and made a beautiful cross-court pass to Jason Burian, who put the final dagger in Rambam’s side with five 5:44 remaining, giving SAR a 7-4 lead.
Rambam wouldn’t quit however, as nine seconds later sophomore Harry Tanen cut the lead to 7-5, firing a loose ball past Nayowitz. SAR held the fort for the rest of the game, with the final Rambam goal coming with seven seconds left in the game. Rambam would be unable to get a shot off and SAR won its first hockey championship in school history, and the first ever championship won by Coach Noah Falkenstein. Gordie Kolb, who had two goals and two assists, was named the game’s MVP.
Joseph Mogilner is a sophmore at SAR High School
By Joseph Mogilner