When several of the local ice hockey players on the U.S. Maccabiah masters team were asked prior to the games who they considered the favorite to win, they predicted Canada — based on reputation, not actual knowledge of team composition.
It turns out they were partially correct. The United States did face Canada in the finals of the four team tournament, which featured players age 40 and up, and the Canadians did beat them earlier in the games. But the United States enacted revenge and captured the gold medal 7 to 4 over Canada, which until that point had been undefeated.
The U.S. team did not get off to a strong start at the games, first narrowly losing to Canada 6 to 5 and then to Russia 11 to 6 in the prelimiary rounds.
In the semifinals, the United States defeated Russia 6 to 5.
"With a solid game plan put together by our coaching staff, the team dug deep and executed on it flawlessly," Todd Lewis, a player from Los Angeles, wrote in a blog. In the other semifinal game, Canada beat Israel 6 to 3.
Matt Steinberg, a forward on the U.S. team from Ft. Washington, called winning gold the "most memorable sports event" of his life.
In addition to Steinberg, the team featured three other local players: Peter Levitt of Bala Cynwyd, Jon Hodes of West Conshohocken and Joshua Petersohn, who lives in Center City.