Through nine games of the regular season, the SAR JV hockey team has exceeded expectations en route to an undefeated 9-0 record and its first division title in five years.
In his preseason rankings, “Yeshiva Hockey Guru” Elliot Weiselberg tabbed the SAR Sting as the fourth best team in the league, right in front of TABC and a whole rung below Rambam and Frisch. Despite that, the Sting went out every game, hustled hard, worked as a team, and came up with timely plays, enabling them to win each of their first nine games.
Head Coach Noah Falkenstein and assistants Zach Fein and Yves Levy, have made all the right moves this season, and have gotten stellar play from all of their players. They have received phenomenal goaltending from freshman Jacob Nayowitz, who has kept SAR in every game, always putting them in position to win.
The Sting started the season by winning their first three games, defeating Hillel, TABC, and Westchester. They then welcomed an undefeated Frisch team into their rink for a game in which they were a heavy underdog. Frisch held a 3-2 lead late in the 3rd period, but freshman star and alternate captain Gordie Kolb tied the game, scoring his third goal of the night.
Solomon Freilich, one of only three sophomores and also an alternate captain, gave the Sting the lead for good with five minutes remaining. Kolb then gave them some insurance with his fourth goal, thus taking the big divisional battle 5-3. The come-from-behind win against Frisch showed the league that SAR is for real, putting the team in pole position to capture its second division title of the decade.
The Sting then won their next three games without much drama, defeating TABC, MTA, and Ramaz. However, leading scorer Gordie Kolb went down with an injury in the game against Ramaz, making him unavailable for their next game. Without Kolb and freshman defenseman Adam Weiss, who was unable to attend the game, SAR still overcame the key absences. With the sensational play of defenseman Shua Freidman and Jason Burian, the Sting defeated the scrappy Ramaz Rams 9-2.
This set up a huge game in Paramus against Frisch, on January 29th. With a win, SAR would clinch its first division title in five years. Frisch, coming off a heartbreaking loss to TABC, desperately needed a win. Frisch came out firing, jumping out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period. A huge goal by sophomore defenseman Eli Gelfand cut the Frisch lead to 2-1 heading into the 3rd period. With eight minutes left in the period, Freilich tied the score up at 2, setting up a frantic finish.
With 3:30 seconds remaining in the game, Kolb fired a shot on net that bounced right to SAR sophomore Joey Mogilner, who slammed home the rebound to give SAR the lead for good.
The win put the Sting at 9-0 this year, helping clinch the Western Division title. If they can win their next game against JEC, they will go into the playoffs with an undefeated season.
Despite that, the Rambam Ravens, who are also undefeated in the Eastern Conference, are still the heavy favorites to win it all. However, SAR has consistently proved the doubters wrong this season, and hope to be able to do it once more in March.
By Joey Mogilner