April 18, 2024
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TABC Varsity Hockey Defeats the MTA Lions

On Tuesday night, February 21, the third seed TABC Varsity Storm took on the sixth seed MTA Lions in the opening round of the playoffs. TABC came into the game confident after beating MTA easily, 5-1, in the regular season. However, MTA came out strong early, letting TABC know it wasn’t going to be an easy game. The first period was a crazy one, with both teams hitting the posts at various times, and goalies Solly Weiser (TABC) and Max Hershkowitz (MTA) keeping the game even at 0-0 after one period of play. MTA would strike first, when senior Zack Borgen snuck on a wrist shot from half-court past Weiser to put MTA up 1-0 in a shocking turn of events. However, TABC would respond immediately as, on the very next shift, captain Zach Rothenberg went coast to coast, powered through the MTA defense, took the puck around the net and made a perfect one-handed pass to Efraim Tiger in the middle. Tiger roofed the puck into the top corner of the net to tie the game 1-1 a mere 20 seconds later. Solid play from both goalies, and some key penalty kills by MTA, kept the game at 1-1 for the rest of the second period.

The third period would be an exciting one, as this was the last home period of hockey in the Weather Center for the seniors. TABC came out strong, and was pounding shots on net, utterly dominating every shift. A few minutes in, Rothenberg patiently fed Tiger, who put the ball between his own legs, and while falling to the ground, swiped the ball with his backhand past Hershkowitz and into the net to put TABC up 2-1. Soon after, junior Yitzy Kopstick controlled the ball in the offensive zone, and ripped a wrist shot from right by the TABC bench which sailed perfectly over the goalie’s blocker and into the top of the net to give TABC a much needed cushion of 3-1. TABC had many more chances in the offensive zone, Tiger hit a post on his backhand after dribbling through an MTA defenseman’s legs, Kopstick hit a crossbar and Rothenberg never stopped hustling, getting chance after chance in the zone. With a few minutes left in the game, MTA offenseman Reuven Penn scored off a rebound to make it a 3-2 game with time left to play. Ezra Rotblat did a great job cheering and getting the team pumped (again), and also made many key defensive stops, sliding and going all out for the team by blocking shot after shot and stopping passes left and right. The game would remain 3-2, and with 25 seconds left, Tiger won the faceoff to the corner, and Kopstick and Tiger both pinned the ball in the corner. The whistle was blown, and after another faceoff, Kopstick got the ball in the corner again, and would stay there for the remaining 15 seconds. TABC hung on for the 3-2 win, a first playoff win for all juniors on the team. Special shout-out to Akiva Wieder for playing an amazing game defensively yet again, and the team hopes he doesn’t cramp up again in the next round. TABC looks to extend their playoff run when they take on HAFTR in HAFTR, March 2.

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