Aug. 6, 2009

METULLA, ISRAEL - University of Massachusetts Boston men's ice hockey player Eric Tufman (Abington, PA) tallied 10 points on three goals and seven assists in six games to help Team USA capture the gold medal for the second straight year in the over-18 Division at the World Jewish Ice Hockey Championships. Team USA blew out Team Canada, 6-0, in the championship game.

The five-nation tournament was held in Metulla, Israel from July 5-15. The United States, Israel, Canada, France and Russia all sent entries to compete for the gold medal. The US represented by Jewish players comprised from NCAA Division I, II and III schools as well as former college players and professional players from such levels as the American Hockey League. The Israeli National Team represented Israel, while a number of Jewish Pros and elite amateurs from all over Europe and North America will be competing for Canada, France and Russia.

Tufman, whose point total was the 12th-highest among all players at the World tournament was overjoyed with the experience to play for his country. "Well I must say that those were two amazing weeks that I will never forget," said Tufman. "Winning the gold medal was unreal."

The forward saw plenty of ice time for Team USA, seeing action on the first and second lines as well as significant time on the power play and penalty killing units.

Israel defeated France, 6-3, earlier in the day to take home the bronze medal.

The first World Jewish Ice Hockey Championship, or World Jewish Cup, was held in 2007 with the USA taking the gold medal with a victory over Israel. Team Canada won the bronze, while Maccabi, France finished in fourth place in the four-nation tournament.

Tufman just completed his second season with UMass Boston and was honored earlier this year, being named to the Jewish Sports Review's All-American Team.

Tufman enjoyed another outstanding season for the Beacons in 2008-09. The sophomore tied for the team-lead with 10 goals and ranked second with 16 assists and 26 points in 26 games. Tufman led the squad with four game-winning scores, while ranking 13th in the nation and first among Eastern College Athletic Conference East players. His goal total placed him 11th among league leaders, while his totals for assists and points put him 12th among ECAC East players. The winger proved to be extremely valuable on the power play, racking up 13 points (3-10-13) to place sixth in the conference in power play points, while ranking 20th among league leaders with three power play tallies. A former member of the Philadelphia Little Flyers of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League, Tufman notched at least one point in 18 of 26 games, including seven multi-point efforts to tie for the team lead. He shined in the playoffs for UMass Boston, netted a pair of goals and adding an assist to lead the team over New England College, 5-4, in the ECAC East Tournament semifinals on March 6. Tufman also added a pair of assists the following day in the Beacons' 4-3 overtime loss to Babson College in the ECAC East Championship. The forward was easily the most disciplined forward on the ice for UMB, going the entire season without spending a second in the penalty box, despite taking many hard hits on the ice.

For his career, the Abington Senior High School graduate has seen action in 52 games, while compiling 63 points on 28 goals and 35 assists. His eight game-winning goals in the past two seasons is the most for any player at UMass Boston since 1996-97 when the statistic was first kept at the school and his 12 power play goals are the sixth-most for a player wearing the Beacon blue since 1984-85. He burst onto the scene for UMass Boston last year as a freshman, being named ECAC East Rookie of the Week a league-high six times and was named to the ECAC East All-Rookie team. Tufman ranked seventh in the nation for rookie scoring with 1.42 points per game and led the team with 37 points, 18 goals and 19 assists. His nine power play goals placed him 18th in the country and his four game-winners put him 15th.