On Sunday, March 31, TABC hosted the sixth annual Esther Semmelman Memorial All Star Hockey Games. Close to 125 players from middle school through high school participated in games featuring the top hockey players in their respective leagues.
The annual All Star event began with the middle school game between the Haymish and YJHSHL. It was a competitive game throughout. In the first period, game MVP Stephan Nayowitz (Moriah) gave the Haymish team an early lead on an unassisted goal. Jordan Gejerman (Har Torah) tied it at 1-1. In the second period, Nayowitz gave the Haymish team the lead again assisted by Gabriel Hornblass (Moriah). Once again, the YJHSHL team fought back and tied it on a goal by Moshi Grossman (HANC) assisted by Yoni Adler (HALB). In the second period, the Haymish team took the lead for good. The pairing of Matt Ungar (WDS) and Aidan Sholomon (Moriah) proved to be a good idea. They each scored a goal and assisted on the other as they gave the Haymish team a 4-2 lead with two goals a minute apart. The third period would see a strong attempt for a comeback by the YJHSHL team. With stellar goaltending by sixth grade goalie Max Newmark (HAFTR) who shut down all attempts by Haymish to add to their lead, YJHSHL closed the gap to 4-3 on a goal by Grossman yet again assisted by Adler. The Haymish team held on for the win behind the strong goaltending tandem of Chaim Mermelstein (RYNJ) and Adam Farbowitz (Yavneh).
The JV all stars were up next, and the Eastern Conference took home the MYHSAL all star game by the score of 3-1. After a scoreless first period on great goaltending by both Ben-Ami (DRS) and Merlin (Kushner), the second period started out with both teams on fire as the first goal was scored by the Western Conference player, Ian Bromberg (Frisch). However, the East reacted quickly on a goal by Ian Friedman (HAFTR). Going into a tie game in the third period, the East started to put the pressure on and with about three minutes left, MVP Adam Goldman broke the tie. The East was able to hold off the Western attack behind their goalie Judah Orlanski (Rambam) and the game was then sealed when Sam Korman (Rambam) hit the empty net as the East pulled off the upset in a great game by both teams.
In the last game of the day, the Eastern Conference Varsity MYHSHL all stars defeated the Western Conference 4-1. The East took a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Yoni Goldberg (HAFTR) off of a faceoff win by Yair Sturm (DRS). The East extended their lead to 2-0 in the second on a goal by Ben Schreiber (HAFTR) but the West answered right back on a goal by Jason Alter (Frisch). Nursing a 2-1 lead entering the third period, the East extended their lead to 3-1 on a goal by Yehudah Nenner off a beautiful feed by Rambam teammate Jonathan Yizhaky. With stellar goaltending by Akiva Aryeh (first period) from DRS and game MVP Ben Horowitz from HAFTR, the East was able to shut down the potent West offense adding an empty netter by Bernie Maslin (HANC) to seal the victory.
One of the highlights of the games is the ever-popular skills competitions between periods for fastest shot and last man standing. This year, the fastest shot awards went to Ben Srulowitz of MDS, Zachary Levy of TABC and Aiden Englander of DRS. The last man standing awards went to Noam Kornwasser of RYNJ, Ben Orbach of Kushner and Elliot Eisner of Frisch.
The annual games are named in memory of Esther Semmelman a”h, devoted wife and mother who passed away in 2012 after a long battle with cancer. Proceeds from the event were earmarked for i-Shine. The all star games were generously sponsored by Camp Dovid, Camp Slapshots, TABC Junior Hockey, Five Towns Junior Hockey, SAR Floor Hockey League, The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center and Leasco Automotive Sales and Leasing.
The games were livestreamed and can be viewed on the TABCtv YouTube channel.
By Oren Glickman