Jeff Horowitz Scores Hat Trick in Loss

The Rye Country Day boys’ hockey team continued their double-edged string of good play and unfortunate results with a compelling effort at home against Portsmouth Abbey December 12.

Portsmouth snapped a 4-4 tie on a power play goal with 54 seconds remaining in the game. It was a gut-wrenching sequence of events for the Wildcats, who had tied the game just 25 seconds earlier when senior Jeff Horowitz scored to earn his first career hat trick at RCDS.

Jeff Horowitz

“When I scored early in the game, I thought to myself that I might have a chance to get another and maybe even three,” said Horowitz. “I just kept telling myself to go hard, and good things will happen. Well, when I saw my third goal hit the back of the net, I knew my hard work had paid off.”

The nail-biting finish encapsulated the game’s dramatic nature. Rye Country Day struck first on Horowitz’s goal, but Portsmouth then answered with two of their own. One of those was an easy score with a man left uncovered in front of the net, resulting in Wildcats’ head coach Gary Bingham commenting on the team’s need for “better defensive zone coverage.”

Midway through the second period, with Rye Country Day still down 2-1, Wildcat junior Sam Gordon “scored” on a wraparound shot by beating the goalie from behind. However, the goalie pulled it out before the referee could see it went in. As Gordon celebrated what should have been the tying goal, the referee called a cover up and for play to continue. The visitors then scored again and rather than a 2-2 game, it was 3-1 and Portsmouth appeared to be warming up the bus.

Gordon could not believe his misfortune and later explained, “Calls like these upset me, especially in tight games where every goal is huge.”

In the closing minutes of the second period, junior Shayne Bingham scored off a rebound to put the Wildcats in good position to make a comeback. Nonetheless, the holes in the Wildcat defense were still present in the third period and Portsmouth jumped back ahead by two with only 11 minutes to play.

Then the miracle unfolded; Horowitz scored two shorthanded goals to pull the Wildcats even. With only one minute left, overtime seemed to be the only option and Rye Country Day was feeling good. But Portsmouth’s ensuing goal ended that hope.

Omeed Alidadi

“The game was much more than a loss; it was a great learning experience,” said senior captain Cole Kleinberg. “Playing a bigger and stronger team can get us more prepared for tougher games coming up.”

– Andrew Farber


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