The Yavneh Avalanche’s season came to an end Monday night with a hard fought 2-1 loss against Kushner. After a season where the team has seen great improvement on the court and the formation of a hockey family off the court, everyone wanted nothing short of a championship win. Standing in their way was the undefeated, defending champions, Kushner.
The game started off with an early goal by Yavneh Academy. Julia Reich took a turn around shot on goal. The Kushner goalie never expected it and Yavneh was happy to be on the scoreboard! As the first period continued, both teams were getting chances and finished the period with 12 shots on goal for Yavneh and 9 for Kushner. The period finished with a 1-0 score, but everyone knew there was a long way to go.
For the 2nd period, Kushner came out strong. They were not happy to be down and were not going to let it stay that way. Goalie Shoshana Klein was remarkable and kept the score 1-0 for quite some time while Kushner made its big push. With 2:30 left in the period, the push proved to be too much. Kushner was able to get a goal past Klein to tie the score 1-1.
Between the 2nd and 3rd periods, Yavneh was able to regroup and focus all its energy on the 3rd period. Led by 8th graders Jessie Gronowitz, Jolie Levart, Lily Polonetsky, Julia Reich, and Shoshana Klein, Yavneh was not going to put their heads down. They played hard and got their chances. The team slowed Kushner down and did not let them have a period like they did in the 2nd. With time winding down, and overtime looking more and more likely, Kushner took a shot that bounced off of the traffic in front of the net and deflected into the goal to make the score 2-1, Kushner. That goal with 1:57 left on the clock, proved to be the game winner.
Yavneh finished its 6-1 season with a loss in the championship game. The tears in the girl’s eyes showed how hard they worked and how much they have grown as a team. They strived for greatness together as one; they became a part of something bigger than themselves, and were dedicated to a common goal. While they may not have the championship win to look back on, the Yavneh girls hockey team, that asks to do sprints for a whole practice just to be the best they can be, has a group of friends and an experience they will remember and cherish for many years to come.
By Aliza Hiller and Stephanie Appelbaum