The 19th Maccabiah Games are winding down. The hockey games were over on Friday, but I needed a few days before I could write about our gold medal game. We lost to Canada 3-2, and took the silver medal.
As the score indicates, it was a close game. But the Canadians played more like a team then the US juniors, and scored the last goal with only a few minutes to go. They deserved their gold.
The Canadians also beat Team USA in the open division. However, in the masters division, the US men played with all heart and beat the Canadians for the gold. The stands in Metula were packed with Israeli fans, many watching their first hockey games ever. So many young boys and girls came up and asked for our autographs after the game. Maybe such a fast paced exciting game will lead one of them to learn to skate and play hockey for the next Maccabiah.
I know I am not alone in hoping that Israel continues to embrace the game of hockey. We heard rumors that another rink might be built soon, more in the center of the country. This would help as it is too difficult to grow the sport without more available ice. I want to thank the organizers and all of those responsible for bringing hockey back to the Maccabiah Games for a great experience. Although it was disappointing not to win gold, there is a silver lining. I have already been invited back for next summer by one of my Israeli hockey friends.