June 18, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
June 18, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

SAR Sting Captures First Boys Varsity Hockey Championship

On Sunday, March 18, 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. Following a 9-4-1 season and fourth 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 North Shore and HAFTR to advance to the championship and an opportunity to win its first varsity title in the school’s 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 juniors 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 net minder off a face-off play win by Nayowitz and smart positioning by captain Jason Burian who played with a broken finger injured earlier in the game. With just under four minutes to play in the second period, senior forward 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 choppy, 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 breakaway 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 two 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 Burian. With 3:49, and teams playing 3-on-3, Kolb scored his fourth 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 fifth goal on the power play—a beautiful backhand top shelf—with just under four minutes to go off a nice feed from senior captain 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 and Noah Falkenstein win their first varsity hockey championship as coaches. Coach Howie, who has been behind the bench since day one of the hockey program, proclaimed “This championship win is for all of the Sting hockey family.”

By Judah Fortgang (SAR HS ‘18)

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles