The Israeli national hockey team took on the CIS’ Ryerson Rams on Thursday in an exhibition game prior to the Division IIA World Championships in April. Israel recently faced ACHA university club team MIT in Boston on March 1, 2014, taking home the 7-6 victory after holding a 7-3 advantage with twenty minutes remaining in the contest. Today’s scrimmage would result in a slightly result for Israel, as five first period goals by the Rams and an additional four in the final twenty was all they needed in the eventual 13-6 victory.
The first period was all Ryerson thanks to three goals in just the first ten minutes of action. Rams star Jake Wise, who finished fifth in CIS scoring this past season, recorded the first goal of the game early after beating Ilan Kilimnik with a wrist shot. Shortly after, Mitch Gallant made it 2-0 with another wrister that Israel just had no intention of containing. It was a very poor period for Israel, who just couldn’t handle the constant pressure in their own zone and made multiple mistakes to prove it. The Rams would finish the period with three more goals before the period came to a close, with former Oakville Blades goalscorer Dustin Alcock and Electrical Engineering student Steve Taylor getting the fourth goal with just a few minutes remaining in the period. Wise would add another one right before the conclusion of the period, putting the puck between his legs before dangling out the Israeli goalie before Daniel Willmott tucked it in for the seemingly easy marker.
Despite the score, Israel wasn’t totally outmatched. In fact, they were able to kill off every penalty in the first period with ease, putting pressure on Ryerson while shorthanded. Shot wise, Ryerson only held a 16-11 advantage, meaning goaltending played a huge difference in the opening frame.
With Klimnik allowing five goals on 16 shots in the first, Daniel Stein got the call to open the second frame. The goalie switch gave Israel just a slight bit of momentum, potting two goals in a five minute span to finally give the team some life. First, Toronto Jr. Canadiens forward Aaron Spivak ripped the puck past Troy Passingham to make it 5-1. Minutes later, University of Western Ontario star Daniel Elrich squeaked the puck between the legs of the Ryerson and past the goal line for Israel’s second marker. Unfortunately to the men in the star uniforms, Gallant managed to snipe the puck just below the crossbar to give Israel their sixth goal of the contest.
The second half of the middle frame was exciting to say the least. After Alcock got his second of the contest, OUA West Rookie of the Year Domenic Alberga scored an absolutely incredible goal after pulling off a Marek Malik goal to make 8-2. The very next shift, Eliezer Sherbatov, who is known for his incredible scoring ability from his time in the junior ranks, fanned on the puck in the front of the net, only to see Passingham completely miss it and tally their third goal of the contest.
It only took 25 seconds into the third, but Wise was able to deke past three Israel defenders before roofing the puck over Stein to make it 9-3 Ryerson. Sherbatov almost got his second marker of the game for Israel after back to back scoring chances, but Passingham wasn’t interested in allowing anything more past him. Since scoring in pairs seemed to be a trend in the contest, Willmott easily scored his second of the match with a wrist shot that Stein had no chance of stopping.
Israel would end up scoring two goals of their own within a few minutes of eachother mid way through the period. First, Itzhak Levy scored on the doorstop to cut the deficit to just six. Shortly after, Elrich got his second of the contest after taking advantage of a poor defensive effort by the Rams before potting a rebound. Ryerson would restore the six goal lead just after Israel killed off yet another penalty, as former Oakville Blades defenseman Mark Corbett made it 11-5. In the final six minutes of the contest, Israel would add a single goal and Ryerson would add an additional two markers to finish off the game with the 13-6 victory.
“It was fun,” Spivak had to say about the contest. “It’s not some thing you get to do a lot; represent your country and for most of the guys, its a rare thing but its always a pleasure to represent your country.”
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