New York and New Jersey clashed at the Fourth Annual Esther Semmelman Memorial All Star Game this past Sunday at TABC. For three games, representatives from both sides of the river, chosen for their on-court abilities, midot and sportsmanship, collaborated and competed in a celebration of hockey and life. The event, held in memory of Esther Semmelman, also doubled as a fundraiser to benefit iShine, an after-school program dedicated to helping children dealing with sickness and loss. Esther, who passed away in 2012 after a battle with cancer, was a loving mother and dedicated fan to her children, including her son David, who played for TABC.
The day kicked off with the second annual junior high all star game featuring representatives from the New York MYJHHL league and the New Jersey HAYMISH league. The HAYMISH team jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead after one period of play behind the solid goaltending of MDS’ Jonah Elzweig and a goal by Noam’s Elie Blumenfeld and a trio of goals by Yavneh players, one by Eitan Danzer and two by Ian Bromberg. In the second period, the MYJHHL made its comeback. Two goals by North Shore’s Adam Goldman and one by North Shore teammate Charles Greszes, and the NY league had closed the gap to a 4-3 deficit. In the third, however, HAYMISH would salt away the game for good with two goals by Moriah’s Gabe Rosenblatt for the 6-3 final. Bromberg’s two key first-period goals earned him MVP honors.
The second and third games of the day featured participants from the Eastern and Western divisions of the all-encompassing MYHSAL JV and varsity leagues. In the Junior Varsity game, the East jumped out to a quick lead on goals by HANC’s Bernie Maslin and Flatbush’s Marty Elmekies. The game, however would belong to the Eastern conference’s goaltending. DRS’ Akiva Aryeh and HAFTR’s Ben Horowitz would provide stellar netminding, keeping the West off of the board, combining for a shutout in the 2-0 East victory. Both goalies would be awarded co-MVP credits.
The final game of the afternoon was the varsity all star game and the marquee matchup lived up to every bit of its billing. The West turned adversity into good fortune in the first, taking a penalty but getting a short-handed tally by TABC’s Zach Rothenberg to notch the first goal of the contest. The East, however, got the equalizer on the same power play when HANC’s Jacob Schwartzman put one home to tie the game at 1-1, where it stayed into the first intermission. Early in the second, the East gained the upper-hand on a snipe by DRS’ Shlomo Mansbach, which was the only scoring of the period. The West would not be counted out, and in the middle stages of the third period they found the equalizer on a precisely placed deflection by Frisch’s Yehuda Brinn to knot the game at two. JEC’s Jason Silverstein and DRS’ Jakey Friedman would keep the doors closed throughout the rest of regulation and the game went into a five-minute overtime. The netminders, however, would concede nothing during the period and it was determined that a second and final five-minute session would be played. This time, there would be a winner. With 26 seconds left in the second overtime, and the first tie in the all star day’s history looming, SAR’s Gordie Kolb put home a one-timer to give the West the victory. The goal would also net Kolb the game MVP award.
In between periods of each game, competitions were held for “Hardest Shot” and “Elimination Shootout.” For junior high, the winners were Zachary Levy and Danzer, both of Yavneh. For junior varsity the winners were Aiden Englander of DRS and Elliot Eisner of Frisch. For varsity the winners were Brinn of Frisch and Solomon Freilich of SAR.
By Elliot Weiselberg