SCHENECTADY – Bethlehem won its second consecutive Section 2 Division 1 hockey title by outlasting Shenendehowa 4-2 in the championship game Sunday, Feb. 24, at Union College.
The Eagles (20-2-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on two quick goals by Michael Bievenue. The junior forward’s first goal came 22 seconds into the match and the second a little more than three minutes later. After Shen got on the scoreboard early in the second period, Bievenue struck again to put Bethlehem ahead 3-1.
Shen (16-6-1) pulled back within one goal again in the third period when Brennan Alheim tallied, but Ben LaVigne scored off a Bievenue assist to give Bethlehem the insurance goal it needed.
LaVigne assisted on two of Bievenue’s three goals, and goalie Michael Kurdziolek stopped 27 shots to propel Bethlehem into the regionals. The Eagles travel to southern New York to face Section 1 champion Suffern Saturday, March 2.
Bethlehem advanced to the Sectional final with a 4-0 semifinal victory over Christian Brothers Academy Saturday, Feb. 23, at Union College. Bievenue, Connor Carroll, Justin Chenaille and Braden Jones tallied for the Eagles, and Kurdziolek made 14 saves to earn the shutout.
Shen needed overtime to oust Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa 4-3 in Saturday’s second semifinal contest. Alheim scored the game winner less than two minutes into the extra period to punch the Plainsmen’s ticket to the finals.
Alheim finished with two goals, while Jacob Mayo and Anthony Sassone each added a goal for Shen. Goalie Kent Leighton had 24 saves for the Plainsmen. Miles Grabb tallied twice for Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa.
Division 2 champion Queensbury will play its regional Saturday at the Glens Falls Recreational Center against the Section 7 champ.