Mar 16, 2012
By Scott P. Moore
Standard Staff Reporter
Steven Soffer provided the DRS Wildcats varsity hockey team with all the offense they would need with a trio of goals against the RAMAZ Rams, picking up a 3-0 win in the Metropolitan Yeshiva High School Hockey League quarterfinal playoffs on Monday evening in Woodmere.
“This wasn’t easy,” said DRS Head Coach Larry Gross. “RAMAZ played very good and they had already won a game this season. We had not played in 37 days [due to a vacation and first round bye]. It showed, but we overcame it.”
Soffer’s first goal came in the first period with only a little time left on the clock. Soffer slapped a shot from the outside past the Rams’ goalie, sending a dedicated group of Wildcat fans into loud cheers as DRS took the lead 1-0 in the first. Wildcats’ goalie Efrem Rosenberg displayed the skills that gave his team a 93-9 goals for and against ratio on the season by blocking 16 shots on goal during the first period.
“We worked with Soffer on practicing that same play as the first goal,” said Gross. “He just had to make it simple. And he did.”
DRS picked up two power plays during the second period, hitting a four-on-two advantage with 8:17 left. As the first penalty expired, the Wildcats’ defensemen Avery Englander passed the ball to Soffer, who slapped it in from 10 feet out to put DRS up 2-0. With seconds to spare during the second period, Englander and Soffer connected again with a pass and shot on goal from right near the net, rolling in and giving Soffer his third goal of the day and DRS a 3-0 lead. The hat trick promoted many in the DRS crowd to throw their hats and kipot into the air in celebration.
“He’s really talented,” said Gross. “I cannot say enough about the amount of effort he put in tonight.”
At the other end of the court, Rosenberg continued his goal tending mastery by blocking 14 shots during the second period and all eight by RAMAZ during the third period. After a RAMAZ offensive attack failed with multiple saves, the loud DRS crowd began chanting “stonewall” towards Rosenberg; the goalie made his way to the fans during the middle of the period to tip his helmet in thanks. Rosenberg’s quick reflexes kept the Rams from ever coming close on a single shot towards him and he secured another shutout for the Wildcats.
“Rosenberg’s been the guy all season,” said Gross with a smile. “We’ve come to expect [games like this]. We are very fortunate to have him on our team.”
The game was not without some faults for DRS, as the Wildcats had four penalties against them leading to four powerplays for the Rams, including one four-on-two attack during the first period. Luckily for DRS, their penalty killing squad refused to let the Rams take too many goals against the shorthanded defense and helped preserve the shutout.
“We’re going to have to work on those penalties… that was just way too many,” said Gross. “But the boys are very excited. We’re looking forward to the next game already.”
DRS won 14 games this year during the regular season and are now 15-0 overall and will face the MTA Lions of Manhattan on Monday at 8:15 p.m. at home in the semifinals. The game will be a rematch of last season’s finals, which saw the Lions hand DRS their only defeat in the last two seasons, 2-0.
|Team||1st Period||2nd Period||3rd Period||FINAL|
Filed Under: Sports
About the Author: