The JEC Thunder and Ramaz Rams met in the first round of the MYHSAL Varsity Hockey Playoffs in a closely contested game. While the Rams were technically the home team, it was the JEC that appeared to have the home court advantage with the school sending over 40 fans.
Neither team appeared to dominate the other at the outset, but the Rams did have a few more quality scoring chances in the first period. Despite this slight advantage in offensive play, the Rams were unable to get one by the Thunders’ all-star senior goaltender Jason Silverstein, and the first period ended tied 0-0.
As the second period began, the JEC quickly opened the scoring. After winning the opening face-off, the Thunder managed to sustain play around the Ramaz net, leading to a rebound that was pounced on by junior defenseman Netanel Kramer, who managed to roof a shot into the net to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead. The JEC maintained that lead until late in the second, when the Rams scored off an offensive zone faceoff.
Both teams displayed great special teams in the second as the Rams successfully killed off a JEC power play halfway through the second and the JEC successfully killed off a two man Ramaz advantage, thanks in large part to senior Mordechai Sheinson and junior Aryeh Marcus.
With 24 seconds remaining in the second, JEC managed to win a defensive zone faceoff, chipping the puck up to midcourt where junior Elisha Schmutter corralled the bouncing puck and crossed over into the offensive zone. Using Ramaz’s defensive player as a screen, Schmutter scored, giving the Thunder a 2-1 lead.
The third period saw a continuation of the strong penalty killing seen in the second period. As time dwindled down and the JEC fans got louder, the Rams pulled their goalie in a last minute bid to tie things up, but junior Kramer was able to jump into the play to close out the game, securing a 3-1 win for the JEC Thunder in round one of the MYHSAL Varsity Playoffs.
JEC senior defenseman Yitzy Zwickler (captain), junior defenseman Yitzy Hershkowitz, as well as senior offensemen Shmuel Denker and Sammy Katz (captain), showed hustle, solid play and smart decision making that were integral in securing the JEC win.
Jonathan Silverstein is the proud parent of varsity player Jason, as well as RTMA JV and JJV varsity coach.
By Jonathan Silverstein