The Flatbush Boys Varsity Hockey season came to an abrupt end Monday night (3/6) when the Falcons’ late game comeback bid fell short and the Brooklynites were ousted from the MYHSAL Playoffs in the Quarterfinal Round by the Frisch Cougars in Paramus, NJ.
At the outset, both teams pushed the offensive pressure, with the host Cougars keeping the ball in the Falcon zone for most of the early part of the 1st period. Frisch drew first blood at the 7:30 mark on a shot that took a flukey bounce over the left shoulder of Flatbush’s Senior Goaltender Aaron Kubie for the early 1-0 lead. They got number two a little over a minute later when Flatbush fanned on a dump in that a Frisch player picked up. He then sent a crossing pass near the goal that the receiving Cougar redirected into the open side of the net. Frisch did not let up, as they scored number three off a face-off one-timer to the left of the Flatbush goal at the 4:40 mark. At that point, the Falcons could have packed it in, but that is not the Flatbush way. With Assistant Coach Elliot Zakay imploring the boys that the game was far from over and repeating the mantra, “You can do this! You can do this!”, Flatbush played with renewed energy, and nearly tucked one in the right corner of the Frisch goal, but as the ball rolled through the crease, the official inexplicably blew the play dead, ending the scoring chance. Flatbush’s defense solidified, and a late rush led by Murray Dweck as the clock nudged towards 0:00 was denied, leaving the score 3-0 in favor of the host Cougars heading into the 1st intermission.
In the second period, the Falcons came out with high energy from forwards Dweck and Sam Laniado, as they looked to get Flatbush back in the game. At the same time, Defensemen Aaron Harari and Joey Habert tightened up the defense. It proved to be a typical Flatbush hockey middle of the game period as they took the play right to the Cougars, but they still could not solve the Frisch netminder. Tempers flared in the waning moments as Flatbush drew a questionable penalty. But moments later, Frisch was called for one of their own as the teams played 3-v-3 for the final minute of the period. It stayed that way into intermission number two, with Frisch still holding a 3-0 lead.
Things got darker as the 3rd period got underway. Frisch got their man back, while Flatbush had another player sent off, giving the hosts a 4-on-2 advantage for over a full minute. Kubie stood on his head making one big save after another until Dweck returned to the floor with under 10 minutes left in the game. Dweck immediately grabbed a loose puck at midcourt and pressured the goal, drawing a penalty and evening the numbers on the floor. Flatbush finally turned the advantage into a huge positive as Dweck fed a flying Habert who got Flatbush on the board at the 9:13 mark. Frisch then got their man back for a short 4-on-3 advantage, with the Falcons still facing a two-goal deficit and the clock winding down. At 6:38, Flatbush seemed to catch another break as they finally got four on the floor and Dweck drew another penalty against the Cougars. Could they take advantage and close the gap further?
It looked like it just might happen as right after the switch, Laniado got the ball on his backhand and neatly flipped it into the Cougar net for the unassisted strike, making it a one goal game. Unfortunately, they would get no closer. With under five minutes to play, Frisch got an odd man rush and lifted the ball over the stick of Kubie, then scored again only moments later. Frisch again held a 3-goal lead and the door was closing fast on the Falcons season. Flatbush played hard to the end, never showing any quit. But it was just not their night. The season came to an end as the Falcons fell to Frisch, 5-2.
Afterwards, First year Head Coach Moshe Goldfein reflected on the 2016-17 campaign and the growth the team showed over the course of the season. “I am so proud of our boys. They never quit, they battled from start to finish, really coming together as a unit as the year progressed. No coach could be more pleased at the effort. I will greatly miss this group of Seniors. Just the same, I am already looking forward to what we can accomplish next year with the returning Juniors and Sophomores that will make up next year’s varsity. 2017-18 begins now!”
NEST NOTES: The JV season also came to an end in the Quarterfinal round of the MYHSAL Playoffs. The team fell to TABC in Teaneck, NJ by a score of 4-1.