KIRYAT GAT, ISRAEL — Haifa LC dominated for three quarters and was able to run out the clock to top Tel Aviv LC, 8-5, on Tuesday night in the IPLL semifinals at Kiryat Gat Synthetic.
Haifa (6-1) controlled most of the game, as goalkeeper Ted Bergman anchored a defense which held Tel Aviv to just one goal in the first 45 minutes.
Polish national Jan Rydzak (four goals) was named EL AL Player of the Game, while Nate Archer (three goals) and Justin Diamond (one goal, one assist) also contributed on offense.
Haifa led 7-1 after three quarters before Tel Aviv’s late four-goal surge cut the deficit to 7-5. Matthew Flapan (two goals), Noah Knopf (two goals), Sacha Stout (one goal) and Eric Wolf (three assists) launched the furious comeback.
However, it was too little, too late, and Haifa was able to run out the clock to secure a berth in the inaugural IPLL Championship Game on Thursday night.
A meaningless late goal with seven seconds remaining made the final score 8-5.
Bergman (60:00, 17 saves, 5 GA) earned the win in goal; he has 91 saves on the season. Reuven Dressler (60:00, 17 saves, 8 GA) was dealt the loss.
Haifa will meet Barak Netanya LC, who defeated Ashkelon LC in their semifinal on Monday night, for the title. Faceoff is slated for 8:30 PM at New Municipal Stadium.
Tel Aviv (1-6) will compete in a consolation game against Ashkelon prior to the IPLL Final.
[avatar user=”JacobFarrell” size=”thumbnail” align=”left”]Jacob Farrell is a writer and photographer for the IPLL.[/avatar]