Top 3 forwards score 36 goals in South Africa
by IIHF 19.04.2011, MARTIN MERK
CAPE TOWN – Israel won the 2011 IIHF World Championship Division III one year after being relegated. Three players accounted for 36 of Israel’s 57 goals.
The most challenging game for the Israelis was the opening match against hosts South Africa. The game, played before 851 fans at the Grandwest Ice Arena in Cape Town, went back and forth and the home squad was leading for most of the game. Israel tried hard to stage a comeback and eventually Sergei Frenkel tied it up with the 4-4 goal early in the third period.
South Africa’s Cameron Birrell regained the lead only 25 seconds later with his second marker of the night, but Eliezer Sherbatov scored on a power play with five minutes left in regulation time. Sherbatov, the 19-year-old Israeli-born forward who plays for the QMJHL’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar, hit the back of the net again at 3:56 of the overtime period.
It was these two forwards, along with 19-year-old Daniel Mazour, who dominated the tournament. Frenkel is another player whose roots lie in Israeli hockey with some experience in North America as he played in junior and college teams in Canada between 2002 and 2008 before returning to Israel.
Sherbatov was the scoring leader of the event with 14 goals and 12 assists, followed by linemate Frenkel (11+11), and Mazour (11+7).
The Israelis faced little challenge on their way to the gold medal following the overtime win against South Africa. They easily outplayed their other opponents, Luxembourg (11-1), Greece (26-2), and Turkey (9-1).
South Africa continued to play strong hockey on home ice after the tight loss against Israel by clearly winning all other games and ending up with the silver medal, only one point behind Israel in the standings.
Turkey won the bronze thanks to a 6-5 victory against fourth-ranked Luxembourg.
Greece, on the other hand, had a tough landing after winning Division III silver last year. Due to an internal conflict with the “old” national team almost the entire squad had to be changed for this year’s event. The Greeks lost all games they played scoring only two goals and conceding 79.
Mongolia, the last-ranked team, didn’t appear due to financial reasons and all games were counted as forfeits and 5-0 victories for the participating teams.
2. South Africa
Individual Awards as selected by the Tournament Directorate:
Best Goalkeeper: David Berger, South Africa
Best Defenceman: Daniel Spivak, Israel
Best Forward: Eliezer Sherbatov, Israel