With a near capacity crowd on hand to see the rival Flatbush Falcons and Magen David Warriors face off in the opening round of the middle school hockey playoffs, the Warriors took the play right at the Falcons on the way to a dominating 10-2 win at the Flatbush Aux Nest in Brooklyn, NY.
For the better part of the opening period, the two teams looked to be sizing each other up, with each trying to see how best to gain an advantage. Midway through, MDY appeared to be controlling play, with most of the game being contested in the Flatbush zone while the Falcons tried to counter.
Neither team was able to solve the other until at the 1:41 mark, Magen’s constant peppering of the Flatbush goal paid off as they put one in for the first score of the game. the home team and their fans were stunned and continued to be that way still when 5 seconds later the Warriors let fly with a shot from the point that flat out beat the Falcon defense for a 2-0 lead. To make matters worse, Flatbush’s Jake Laniado took a penalty only seconds later. That was enough as far as Isaac Maleh was concerned. By sheer force of will, he took a loose ball deep in the Falcon zone and went the length of the floor, then drilled the ball past the MDY goalie, halving the Warrior lead. Feeling a shift in the momentum, Flatbush pressed the offense, even though they were shorthanded. But the momentum swing was short lived, as with the clock winding down MDY slipped another one into the Falcon net with only 7.2 seconds left in the period. The teams headed into intermission with the Warriors holding a 3-1 lead.
With the teams back on the floor, and only 1:16 into period two, again Flatbush paid dearly for not clearing a puck in hand. MDY slipped the ball under the goalie’s pads for a 4-1 advantage. The teams then settled into back and forth play again, and Flatbush looked to have netted goal number two, but were denied by a brilliant save. They looked to be gaining a little advantage, but it was again the guests who scored next, slipping one high from the side just behind the goalie’s left shoulder. The wheels were now coming off for the Falcon defense, and MDY soon scored again at the 5:01 mark for a 6-1 lead. And 30 seconds later, the Warriors did it again. 7-1 MDY. The Falcon defense tightened up the rest of the way. The Falcons finally got back on the board when with 45 seconds left, their centerman fired a one timer off the face off drop right past the Magen goalie. The teams went into the second intermission with the score 7-2 in favor of the Warriors, and Flatbush facing a very tough uphill climb the rest of the way.
It was just too much pressure, and MDY capitalized, netting two more goals in less than one minute of 3rd period play. Any wind the Falcons still had in their sails dissipated with those goals. The teams played out the period, but the result was already written on the wall. The Falcons season had come to a disappointing end. Final score, Magen 9, Flatbush 2.
It was a very difficult end to what otherwise was a very positive and growth-filled season for the young Hockey Falcons, and they will surely use this loss to fuel their fire in the off-season as they get ready for competition in 2017-2018.