Shmoozers win the 2024 JNF Alberta Cup

The Shmoozers had time for shmoozing during the 2024 JNF Alberta Cup but they also played stellar hockey and won the 2 day tournament that was held in Edmonton on Feb. 24 and 25. Yasher Koach to everyone who participated in this wonderful weekend event.

Article byy Matthew Levine. Photos by Chris Cardinal.

(AJNews) – The Jewish National Fund organized its sixth annual hockey Alberta Cup Hockey Tournament from February 24 – 25. As usual, the tournament was hosted at the West Edmonton Mall Ice Palace and included four teams, with one from Calgary. Each team played four round-robin games, followed by a final match between the highest-placing teams. Before the finals took place, a Jewish Community free skate was held. This turned out to be a big hit as the ice was filled with members of the community and their children all having a great time.

The teams felt much more even this year than they had previously due to the organizers’ efforts to address the problems of the past. The morale on the ice was high, and each game was very clean, with no big altercations occurring. The hockey was high-level, and the sportsmanship was outstanding this year. This was a great tournament to participate in, and you could see it in the enjoyment across each of the participants’ faces.

Congratulations to the tournament winners, the Shmoozers, captained by sponsor Ken Soroka. The Fighting Yid’s finished second and those yids fought to the very last buzzer. The Girouxalems from Calgary had a slow start going 0-2 on the first day, but found their chemistry and almost made it to the finals, tying up their record to 2-2 on the 25th. Despite an elite roster on the Myopic Mohels, they fell slightly short, but the games still felt and looked competitive.

Presenting sponsors Ken and Natalie Soroka pose with the Alberta Cup. Ken was captain of the winning team – the Shmoozers.

The highlight of the tournament was the goaltending. The Fighting Yid’s Dan Moser looked unstoppable on the first day, and Durell Lefebvre only gave up four goals in five games between the posts. This earned him the award for Most Valuable Goaltender. The Most Valuable Player award went to 15-year-old superstar Hayden Pertman on the Shmoozers, who posted a highlight-reel goal in the finals. The final award for sportsmanship, in memory of Stevie Schwartzberg, went to none other than good Samaritan Jared Paull, who you could hear complimenting the other team’s players while playing against them on the ice.

JNF Edmonton Executive Director Jay Cairns extended a special thank you to presenting sponsors Natalie and Ken Soroka, hospitality sponsors Debbie Anson and family, Good Luck Sock, the Ghermezian Family,    Cushman & Wakefield Edmonton, team sponsors from ACME, Froggers, Icons and Heroes, and MetalX and media sponsor Alberta Jewish News.  “The tournament ran smoothly this year,” said Cairns. “Everyone had plenty of fun, and none of it would have been possible without the generosity of our sponsors and help from the community.”

All proceeds from the event supported the JNF emergency relief efforts in Southern Israel.

Matthew Levine is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter. Photos are by Chris Cardinal. 

Shmoozers Captain Ken Soroka and Fighting Yids Captain Jared Paull squared off during the finals of the 2024 JNF Alberta Cup. Noah Galante, representing the Anson Family hospitality sponsors, dropped the puck to start the game. Paull was awarded Sportsmanship MVP for the tournament – an award that honours Howard Anson z”l.

 

The Girouxsalems just missed the finals but they had a great time in Edmonton.

 

The Reboh Family presented Durell Lefebvre with the MVP award  for goaltending in honour of Nathan Reboh z”l.

Hayden Pertman was named tournament MVP – an award that honours Stevie Schwartzman z”l.

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