Games We Play: Ma'alot tramples Bat Yam I

Local hockey: Ma'alot bounced back from an opening night thrashing to smother Bat Yam I 11-1.

bat yam hockey 88 lg (photo credit: Lionel Gaffen)
bat yam hockey 88 lg
(photo credit: Lionel Gaffen)
Ma'alot bounced back from an opening night thrashing to smother Bat Yam I 11-1 in local hockey league action on Friday night in Metulla. If not for the acrobatics performed by a besieged reserve goalie, Dima Gromkov, the score could have been much higher. As it was, he faced a barrage of 55 shots, compared to his Ma'alot counterpart, who had a total of 11 shots on goal against him. After the game, Gromkov explained that part of his team's problems result from the fact that the Bat Yam I team consists mainly of young roller blade players that are being converted to the ice hockey game. Hat trick hero Slava Golodnitsky started the scoring for Ma'alot after just 1:20 in the opening period. Slava Marchansky scored five - four in the last 10 minutes - Vlad Kosolopov two and Alex Kuzmenkov added one. Roman Gutkin had one goal in defeat. Bat Yam II holds off Metulla Although Metulla lost by an eventual 6-3 count, the score alone doesn't tell the story. The Metulla squad, comprised to a large extent of Junior National team players, came out from the opening whistle with a vengeance and demonstrated some of the skills and techniques that they picked up on their recent North American swing. Metulla opened the scoring with a picture goal by Anton Solokhov at the 12 minute mark, but less than three minutes later, Avishai Geller notched the tying goal. Line mate Alexander Golobovich put Bat Yam II ahead a few minutes later, but Ivan Maklakov tied the game again three minutes later. Geller's second - and the prettiest goal of the night - just over a minute later, put Bat Yam II ahead to end the frame. On the play, Geller swerved smartly toward the net, fired, and managed to get past a defender to pick up his own rebound and tuck it just over goalie Eden Nemenoff's outstretched glove. Geller completed his hat trick at the 33 minute mark, with the period's only goal and what turned out to be the game-winner. The third stanza remained scoreless as both teams had some fine scoring opportunities with end-to-end rushes and some excellent stick work being exhibited, until the last minutes of the match, when Golobovich fed a picture perfect pass to line mate Marek Lebedev, who made no error and slammed the puck past Nemenoff. Eddy Tokar ended the Bat Yam II scoring four minutes later, but Metulla gamely stayed with them, and four minutes later, in one of the best passing sequences of the evening, Yoni Knitor placed his pass perfectly on Michael Horowitz's stick, who fired it past Alexander Loginov. Bat Yam II managed to take 32 shots on goal, while Metulla had 31. Planning moves ahead on junior world championships Israel Ice Hockey Federation chairman Alan Maislin flew in from Montreal for a week of meetings regarding the upcoming junior world championships, to be held in Israel for the first time, and a proposed new hockey arena. Maislin told The Jerusalem Post: "We're in the final stages of negotiations to build a new rink in Israel, and we hope to break ground by spring 2006." Maislin also announced that stick handling specialist Sean Skinner will travel to Israel to work with the Under-18 squad from December 2-13 and that Jim Thompson, who runs a hockey school in Canada, will also come to coach the team. Robert van Rijswijk, director of event management for the International Ice Hockey Federation, was also on hand to check out the facilities at the Canada Center for the world championships. "I'm here to make sure that the standard of the facility to be used will be of IIHF standard, and my overall conclusion is that if the technical changes will be made according to the recommendations I've made, then the facility will be fine for the upcoming tournament," he told the Post. "The overall facility is excellent, which leaves only a few technical issues to resolve - and I've been assured that they will be taken care of." Please submit items for 'Games We Play' via e-mail to