Ice hockey season begins in Metulla

The league champions will be determined by a playoff round at the conclusion of the regular season.

ice hockey 88 (photo credit: )
ice hockey 88
(photo credit: )
Bat Yam II overwhelmed Bat Yam I in the Israel Ice Hockey Federation league opener Friday at Canada Center in Metulla by a healthy 10-1 margin, but the score alone doesn't tell the entire story. The most overpowering line in the country did all the damage for Bat Yam II, as Marek Lebedev, player/coach Alexander Golubovich and Avishai Geller combined for all of II's goals. This was the first time that Golubovich had the three of them playing together. Geller, a former professional hockey player, had the first goal of the new season at the four-minute mark, ably assisted by Golubovich, and completed a hat trick by the end of the match. Golubovich notched the second tally at the 12-minute mark, and finished with two, while teammate Lebedev had a massive game, scoring the remaining five goals together with an assist. While they were on the ice, they thoroughly dominated the game. Although Bat Yam I tried gamely to skate with them, it only became a level playing field when they were off the ice. I's lone tally came at the 39-minute mark when Sergei Levine managed to fire one past II's goalie Alexander Loginov, who faced only 12 shots. Beleaguered goalies Evgeny Gussin and Dmitry Gromykov faced a barrage of 38 shots for Bat Yam I. In the second matchup, Haifa dominated Ma'alot 8-2, from start to finish, in a hard-hitting game that featured a number of end-to-end rushes, with only Haifa being able to finish off plays at its opponent's end of the rink. Outstanding for Haifa was a red hot Eddy Ravniaga, who finished with a hat trick and an assist, while Artium Korotin managed two goals and three assists; although one of the goals that he scored was unfortunately against his own team, in a misguided defensive maneuver. Alexander Stolyar, Vladimir Shipinsky, Nikolay Kolomiza and Dmitry Rosenman combined for the balance of the goals for Haifa, while Ma'alot's Alex Kuzmyenko tallied just as the game came to a close. Haifa outshot Ma'alot 33 to 23, but Haifa 'keeper Boris Amromin was outstanding between the pipes, while Ma'alot's goaltender was not. Sergei Matin, the president of the Israel Ice Hockey Federation, opened the season with a ceremony at center ice. "We are looking forward to the continuing development and growth of hockey in Israel. "In spite of the extremely difficult conditions that we have to work under there is a very strong desire on behalf of the athletes to come out for the sake of the sport." For the next five months, there will be a doubleheader played every other Friday, with minor variations in the schedule near the end of the season. Metulla is the league's fifth team, while Lod will not be fielding a team. A new five-team Junior League (ages 14-18) will take to the ice on alternate Fridays. The league champions will be determined by a playoff round at the conclusion of the regular season.