IPLL Playoff Preview: Semifinals

The IPLL Playoffs continue this week with Semifinal action, when Haifa (4-1) takes on Kiryat Gat (1-5) on Sunday, and Be’er Sheva (4-1) hosts Ashkelon (4-2) on Monday. The winners will meet on Wednesday night in the second annual IPLL Championship Game in Tel Aviv, which will be broadcast live nationally on sport ONE.

Kiryat Gat LC vs Haifa LC

Kiryat Gat earned their first win of the year in a shocking victory over Ashdod in Thursday’s Quarterfinal. Lehigh alum Dan Kaufman was outstanding in goal in the quarterfinal, making 16 saves and allowing just four goals, while MIT product Mitch Turley added five goals.

As big as Thursday’s upset was, KG will need standout performances from both Kaufman and Turley again if they have any hope of taking down Haifa, who has won their last four games by a combined score of 45-7. Haifa’s streak includes a 12-0 win over Kiryat Gat on June 29th.

Haifa will lean on the hot hand of Noah Miller, who scored 10 goals in the last two regular season games. Binghamton product Eric Fischer leads the league in goal with an 81% save percentage, but Haifa coach Jeff Schwartz may choose to roll with Ithaca alum Andrew Landsman in cage, as Fischer is also an offensive weapon with five goals and two assists.

The game will be held at 8pm local / 1pm ET at Kiryat Gat Synthetic.

Ashkelon LC vs Be’er Sheva LC

In a highly anticipated semifinal battle, Be’er Sheva hosts Ashkelon a rematch of Ashkelon’s 8-7 overtime win on June 29th.

Noah Parker has been a late spark for Ashkelon, scoring three goals and dominating the faceoff X in the team’s 11-9 Quarterfinal win over Barak Netanya LC on Thursday. Caleb Brodie scored three goals in Ashkelon’s regular season win and is always a threat for Ashkelon, while Uganda National Kenneth Kasule has come on strong of late.

Ian Kadish has been a dominant force for Be’er Sheva, scoring 18 goals and one assist, while Dan Deutsch, who scored three goals in the regular season meeeting, has eight on the year. Brett Hackel (eight goals) and Micah Stalarow (six goals) also contribute offensively, while Jeff Handman and Jake Reiner have made for a powerful one-two-punch in goal.

The game will have a late start at 10:30pm local / 3:30pm ET at Be’er Sheva Sports Center.