The Israeli Maccabees finished respectably, though out of the medals, in a holiday tournament sponsored by the Canadian Multicultural Hockey League (CMHL).
The Maccabees included skaters who played for Israel’s national junior team and the Canadian entry at the World Jewish Cup in Metulla last summer. They won two and lost two, one of them in overtime, to score five points in the CMHL’s eastern division.
The Maccabees defeated Hellenic Lightning 2-1 and lost to Japanese Arashi 5-4 in their overtime games. They added a regulation time 5-0 win over the Scottish Marauders and matched that with a 2-0 loss to the Irish Shamrocks.
The Polish Hussars were the Canadian Cup winners, defeating Nubian Kings 3-2 in the championship final.
The Maccabees, which played three of its four games at North York Centennial (Herb Carnegie) Arena, shared a division with the Arashi, Shamrocks and Lighting, along with with Macedonian Lions, Chinese Ice Dragons and Serbian White Eagles. Other communities represented in the tournament came from the Italian, Ukrainian, Korean, Maltese, Aboriginal and Portuguese communities.
Altogether 34 teams in four divisions – including a women’s section – participated in the tournament.
The CMHL winter tournament is the brainchild of television executive producer Stanley Papulkas, who conceived of the idea 25 years ago but only launched the first event three years ago. The CMHL is a dream come true for Papulkas, who himself is the son of immigrant parents, the event’s website (www.cmhl.ca) said.
The Maccabees were led by P. Sachetti in goal (he allowed eight goals in four games) and had skaters Ron Berman, Stacey Britstone, Mike Ceresne, N. Ceresney, Dave Faber, Jaime Klaxman, Mikki Levy, Cody Schindermann, Elliot Shully, Mitch Sodofsky, Daniel Spivak, Shane Urowitz, Adam Weinberg, Jordan Weinberg, Kevin Willer and Ziv Zukier.
Britstone participated in the World Jewish Cup and has played with the Plymouth Whalers and the Tillsonburg Vipers in the OHA Senior League. Berman and Spivak have played for the Israeli juniors several times.