The Flatbush Falcons Boys Hockey Teams came to play Tuesday night (12/19), and they played hard, but it was just not enough against the visiting HAFTR Hawks. The JV’s fell by a score of 7-5 while the Varsity succumbed to their Long Island foes ,9-1 , at the Aux Nest in Brooklyn, NY.
After killing off an early penalty, Flatbush gave up the 1 st goal giving HAFTR an early 1-0 lead midway through the opening period. But, the Falcons responded with great defense anchored by goalie Albert Chehebar, and with two goals in less than one minute – the first by Gerry Sabbagh and the second by Michael Escava off a rebound of a Joseph Maymie shot – and Flatbush held a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.
It did not take long for the Hawks to take the momentum back, evening the game with a goal less than two minutes into the period. And shortly thereafter, HAFTR was on the power play again. The Hawks made quick work of it this time, beating Chehebar 15 seconds in to take a 3-2 lead. Flatbush pulled even at 6:09 when a clearing pass found a path to the back of the Hawks goal. Two minutes later, HAFTR pulled ahead again with a shot over Chehebar’s right shoulder as he tried to make the stop with his blocker. Again, Flatbush answered with a goal of a defensive clear, this time by Michael Dayan; again, HAFTR took the lead right back 15 seconds later. That was where it stood at the end of two; 5-4 Hawks.
HAFTR got the first goal of the third period as well, and with it their first two-goal lead of the game. Chehebar came up with a few big saves after that, but he took a shot to the head after the end change midway through the period when Hawk player knocked him into the goalpost. He was great the rest of the way, though, but the Falcons offense could not get one in the goal until Sabbagh put one in with 46 seconds to play. It was the JV Hawks night, winning by a score of 7-5.
With only two reserves on the bench, Flatbush was up against it from the start. But one thing these falcons do have in abundance is heart. They played hard from the get go, with Albert Saad giving his all in goal filling on for the still-injured Co-Captain Sol Laniado. Saad was outstanding, as was the defense in front of him, for over 10 minutes. Flatbush stood toe-to-toe with the Long Island powerhouse, until fatigue set in. One of the defensemen was late getting into position, leaving a shooting lane open, and the Hawks took advantage. The visitors would score two more times and take a 3-0 lead into the first break.
Saad survived a barrage of shots in the first four minutes, and Flatbush got off a few shots of their own that nearly hit home. But, the Falcons energy dissipated faster in period two, and midway through the HAFTR lead ballooned to 7-0. Persistence paid off, though, as Jack Tawil got the Falcons on he board with a blast from the point that beat the Hawk netminder high to the left at the 3:49 mark. The defense tightened up, and blanked the Hawks he rest of the period. At he second intermission, it was 7-1 HAFTR.
Flatbush got reserve keeper Michael Chattah back for the final period, freeing up Saad to return to his natural position on offense. Chattah had a couple of nice saves, but HAFTR beat him for number 8 three and a half minutes in. Co-captain Rafi Nemet nearly got the falcons back on the baord with a clearing shot that nearly made its way across the goal line. only a last-minute swat from the glove hand of the HAFTR goalie ket the puck out. In the end, Flatbush just did not have enough firepower to counter the Hawks. HAFTR took the contest, 9-1.
Afterwards, Head Coach Ruvin Levavi had nothing but praise for his Varsity boys. “I love these guys!” he exclaimed. “They come ready to play, and they give it everything they have all game. I could not be prouder of any group of players.”