February, 2020 – The New York Kozaks hockey team defeated the visiting Montreal team in the FINAL of the SITCH 2020 Cup ice hockey tournament, outscoring the Canadian visitors by a margin of 5-0. Scott Estevich, MVP of the tournament, led the way for New York scoring 2 goals and adding 1 assist in the final. The 2 goals by Estevich gave him a total of 6 for the tournament, leading all players. The New York win also avenged a 2-1 loss to the same Montreal team in the Round Robin play.
During Round Robin play, Game 1 of the tournament was a close and well played match between Montreal & New Jersey. All goals were scored in the first period with Bo Pryjmak scoring the first & third goals for the Montreal team while Mike Lucci and Stephan Kobyleckyj scored for the New Jersey team. With no scoring in the 2nd period, the game ended up as a 2-2 draw.
Game 2 was a battle between the two East Coast teams, New York vs New Jersey. New York jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, Ivan Barzal and Wade Novak doing the scoring. Novak scored his second goal of the game at the 4:09 mark of the 2nd period, putting his New York team ahead 3-0. Nick Medwid scored for the New Jersey team, breaking the shutout and giving the team hope for a comeback. However, New York buckled down and closed out the game with a 3-1 win.
Game 3 would determine which team would get first place in the standings and receive a bye for the next round. The New York team jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 5:01 mark of the first period, Krystos Reinfa picking up the goal with the assist going to Michael Andrusko. This was the only goal of the period as it ended with the score 1-0. However, this all changed in a span of 5:20 as the Montreal team scored 3 unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead. Oleksandr Bezpalok, Louis Valente and Bo Pryjmak scoring the goals. The Kozaks came within one with a goal by Wade Novak at the 9:56 mark of the period, but that was all the scoring the game would see as the final buzzer sounded and the score 3-2 for the Montreal team. With the victory, Montreal finished 1st in the standings, getting a bye in the next round. New York ended up 2nd and New Jersey 3rd. New York would be facing off against New Jersey in the playoffs to determine who would play Montreal in the Finals.
The New York vs New Jersey match started with Dan Lewycky putting the New Jersey team ahead 1-0 at the 3:25 mark of the first period. But then, it was the Scott Estevich show as he scored 4 of the next 6 goals for his New York team to lead them into the finals against Montreal. Jaro Baringa and Taras Odulak were the other goal scorers for the New York Kozak team.
The final was a highly anticipated one because as mentioned earlier, Montreal defeated New York 3-2 in the Round Robin play. With revenge on their minds, the New York team were not to be denied as they scored 2 goals in the first 6 minutes of the game to jump out to a 2-0 1st period lead. Estevich and Schvetch scoring the goals. The 2nd period saw more of the same as Estevich scored his second goal of the game at the 1:04 minute mark. Ivan Barzak and Wade Novak finished out the scoring for the Kozaks and the game ended 5-0.
After the winning trophy was awarded to the Kozaks, the tradition and the opportunity to skate with the trophy around the arena, was granted to the winning team.
The SITCH committee members thanked the teams for participating and thanked all the fans for attending the highly entertaining matches.
SITCH 2020 Cup statistical data below: