Monday, May 25, 2020

The third annual HASC Hockey Classic was held this past Sunday in Teaneck. Over 160 yeshiva league alumni hockey players from schools all over the tri-state area came to compete to benefit Camp HASC. Camp HASC would like to emphasize the incredible job done for the third year in a row by event chair Gilad Rosenberg, tournament director Kivi Naiman and tournament advisors Elliot Weiselberg and Sam Schertz.

As a part of the day, each team was asked to help raise funds for Camp HASC. For more than 40 years, Camp HASC has served the Jewish community as the premier summer program for children and adults with special needs, intellectual and physical disabilities. In just a little over a month, through the efforts of over 150 participants, more than $110,000.00 was raised for this incredible program. Donations can still be made on the tournament website at hockey.camphasc.org. In addition, several impactful companies and individuals took it upon themselves to sponsor this year’s event. The tournament would like to thank its superstar sponsors—J Drugs and Eric R. Stern Esq.; powerplay sponsors—Dialyze Direct, Leeding Builders Group, Simply Sushi, Atlantic Office Technology and The Rothenberg Law Firm and its superfan sponsors—Golden Flow, Avison Young, Cross River Bank and Dagim.

The morning session featured all 12 teams in round-robin play. The schools were split into four groups of three, two of which played their games in TABC, while the other two went to Ma’ayanot or Yeshivat Noam in Paramus. Each team played two games with the top two teams in each group of three advancing to the Tier I playoffs in the afternoon, while the third-place team would move to the Tier II playoffs.

At each site, all players received personalized jerseys based on their school colors, complete with name and number, sweatpants, a water bottle and gym bags, courtesy of LNS Enterprises.

Out of the morning sessions, DRS, HAFTR, TABC and MTA won their respective groups, with Frisch, Kushner, SAR and Team Canada advancing to Tier I as well. For their efforts, HANC, All City, Rambam and JEC would be heading to the Tier II bracket.

After the morning games, all teams returned to TABC for lunch catered by EJ’s Place in Teaneck.

In the afternoon, all games were played in Teaneck with the Tier I playoffs taking place in TABC and the Tier II tournament in Ma’ayanot.

On the courts, DRS, TABC, HAFTR and MTA advanced to semifinals setting up two matchups featuring classic yeshiva league rivalries. The champions of the first two tournaments, TABC and DRS would square off with the Long Islanders upending the hosts 3-0, behind two goals from Steven Genachowski (DRS ’06). In the other semifinal, two of the winningest schools in varsity hockey history met with HAFTR defeating MTA 2-1, behind goals by Jordan Gellman (HAFTR ’14) and Gilad Kerstein (HAFTR ’16) to set up a finals matchup between the two Five Towns powerhouses. The championship would be a hard-fought, low-scoring affair, with DRS taking an early lead mid-way through the second period on a goal from Allan Fries (DRS ’11). HAFTR would try to draw even, but with under a minute left and the HAFTR goalie pulled, Jacob Weinstock (DRS ’18) was tripped on a breakaway to give DRS the insurance goal that would grab them their second Tier I championship, 2-0. Despite the finals loss, HAFTR goaltender Ryan Gluck (HAFTR ’16) was awarded Top Goalie, but the day would belong to Genachowski, whose four goals and one assist would earn him tournament MVP honors. Also taking home awards courtesy of Crown Trophy of Brooklyn, would be Zev Markowitz (MTA ’15), winner of the event’s Top Defenseman honors for the second straight year. Finally, four All-Tournament awards would be given to Kerstein, Donny Fuchs (TABC ’12), Bryan Alter (Frisch ’17) and Avery Englander (DRS ’12).

The Tier II championship game would continue the Long Island theme as the third member of the Five Towns, Rambam met up with HANC after fending off JEC and All-City, respectively. For Rambam, it would mark the third straight appearance in the finals, having defeated HANC to win the inaugural Tier II crown in 2017. On this day, HANC would get its revenge, though. With the first period winding down, Josh Wengrofsky (HANC ’15) would intercept a pass and feed Jeff Shelly (HANC ’07) for the one-timer to give HANC the lead. Josh Hill (HANC ’08) would add an insurance goal, as HANC would take home its first Tier II championship, also by a 2-0 score.

Camp HASC would like to thank JEC who, for the second consecutive year, raised the most of any team with over $11,300 as well as the top 10 individual fundraisers from over 150 players: Ariel Holzer (Rambam ’98), Eric Lifshitz (HAFTR ‘12), Adam Stern (JEC ‘11), Sruli Vegh (All-City ‘14), Jordan Gellman, Kevin Schrier (HANC ‘11), Nachi Karpel (JEC ‘05), Jonathan Brody (DRS ‘11), Jacob Schwartzman (HANC ‘18) and Zach Rothenberg (TABC ‘17).

Proceeds from the Camp HASC Hockey Classic will be dedicated toward providing affordable therapeutic care for the hundreds of children and adults spending their summer at Camp HASC. The range of therapeutic activities, adaptive physical therapy, bike riding and tailor-made motorized equipment, as well as a dedicated, professional staff and around the clock carry-over, enables everyone to participate—and for the special campers to reach goals beyond all expectations. Each summer, miracles take place in the Camp HASC therapy department, where individuals with special needs receive world-class, occupational, physical, speech and music therapy, tailored to meet their specific needs.

By JLNJ Sportsdesk