Haifa used Bat Yam II's night off to close in on the league lead after dominating Bat Yam I 10-0 at the Canada Center in Metulla on Friday evening.
BY I were defeated in spite of an outstanding performance in the nets by a beleaguered Evgeny Gussin, who faced a 72-shot barrage.
For the first period-and-a-half, Gussin managed to keep Haifa from scoring at will, with only national team veteran Artium Korotin lacing one past him at the 13-minute point of the opening frame, while heading away 22 shots. Unfortunately for Gussin, the game didn't end after the opening period.
Eddy Ravniaga started the scoring for Haifa in the second frame after 11â„2 minutes with the first of his pair, while Vladimir Shipinsky tallied just two minutes later.
Eitan Sherer beat Gussin at the halfway mark and then shoveled in his second with less than a minute to go in the stanza.
BY I's defense came apart in the final period, as Gussin faced close to 40 shots. Haifa was able to put together more combination pinpoint passing efforts, which left Gussin fending for himself for the most part.
Ravniaga tallied his second at 41:40 from a Korotin pass, and then assisted Korotin with his second at the 45 minute point and Alexander Stolyar less than two minutes later.
Valery Silyutin scored three minutes later and Korotin completed his hat trick with less than one-and-a-half minutes left in the game.
Boris Amromin was hardly tested in the Haifa nets, handling just four shots on goal.
Ma'alot 2, Metulla 1
The second match up of the evening had the crowd screaming as continually improving Ma'alot finally managed to eke out a 2-1 win over a feisty Metulla team, that had beaten them by an 8-3 margin in their last encounter.
The opening frame was scoreless, as each team had a number of end-to-end rushes, without being able to finish off their plays, with fine goaltending throughout the match at both ends.
In all, it was a chippy type of game, with a nine penalties being called for tripping and other infractions. But both teams failed to capitalize on their power plays, with Ma'alot having slightly more opportunities, and Eden Nemenoff, between the pipes for Metulla, doing an outstanding job in the first two stanzas.
At the31st minute of play Michael Horowitz swooped in on net with the prettiest individual effort of the evening, deked out two defensemen, and fired the opening goal past a hapless Vachtang Dindzdada, which ended the scoring for the period.
Both teams came out hitting hard in the final third, and finally at 51:31, Slava Marchansky scooped one past replacement goaler Avihu Sorotsky to tie the game and less than three minutes later, tallied the winner. Metulla pulled their net minder with some seconds to go, to no avail.
Ma'alot outshot Metulla 28-16.
Ma'alot, Nahariya draw in junior league
In junior league action on Friday, Ma'alot and Nahariya battled to a 1-1 tie.
In the second game, Metulla waltzed over Bat Yam by a 7-2 margin, with Michael Horowitz from the senior Metulla squad notching five goals.
Israelis beat US in benefit
The final games of the first International Benefit Tournament by the Friends of the Israel Ice Hockey Federation took place on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning with the Israelis squad skating to victory.
A team comprised of Israel league players beat the US squad by a10-4 margin, and in the second game, a pick-up Israeli squad, consisting of some Israeli league players and members of the Thursday night league rolled over Canada by a12-3 score, with the line of D. Spodek, N. Eisner and A. Eisner collecting 10 points.
On Thursday morning, an Israeli pick-up side trounced North America 8-3, but at the closing banquet, all was camaraderie, with vows from all to be back for next year's event.