Lakatos will tend goal for Team USA

Jake Lakatos, seen here in his Eastern Hockey League Junior Flyers uniform, leaves tomorrow for Israel as he will start in the goal for Team USA. COURTESY OF ALEXVINCENTPHOTOS.COM

BRICK — Jake Lakatos will take the ice and defend the goal for Team USA in the 2017 Maccabiah Games in Israel.

The 18-year-old Brick goalie will be playing for the Junior team, with games beginning on Sunday, July 9.

“I was shocked and more than excited,” said Lakatos on his selection to be the starting goalie. “It’s probably the craziest thing I’ll ever do.”

Playing hockey since his preschool years and in the goal for 13, he has been a part of Brick Township High School and many club teams. Lakatos received the call he will represent the United States, while in Pennsylvania playing for the Junior Flyers.

“I obviously had no idea,” explained Lakatos. “I was at work in Pennsylvania and my mom called me and goes ‘Maccabiah just called and they need you to play.’”

Most of the players selected had heard the news in September 2016, but Lakatos received word in February, six months later.

“I had two months to come up with $8,000 to go on the trip,” explained Lakatos.

His mother Francine Lakatos added:

“Family, close friends and generous local businesses were a tremendous help.”

Lakatos will be one of 10,000 athletes to participate in the international Jewish multi-sport event that features 47 sports, 3,000 tournaments and 80 different countries.

“It will be a cool experience to not only play hockey in another country but to leave the country,” said Lakatos.

For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.