Friday’s high school hockey matchup between BHBS and Bethlehem was very highly anticipated. Lots of people around the league were looking to this game to get a sense of how the league will play out this season. On top of that, it was Bethlehem’s annual Beach Night game, meaning the crowd was bigger than ever. In front of a packed house at the Bethlehem YMCA, BHBS came in and won it 3-2 in overtime on Alec Lind’s game-winner.
It was an incredible game right from the puck drop. Bethlehem controlled the early minutes of the game, generating most of the shots. They struck first when Connor Carroll played home a puck past BHBS goalie Trevin Tidmarsh just over 3 minutes into the game. The Spartans, however, had an answer. 2 minutes later, freshman Noah Sinclair buried a rebound on the doorstep to knot the game 1-1. It was his first career high school goal. Tidmarsh and Eagles goalie Alex Breiner both played solid the rest of the frame, and it went into the intermission tied.
In the second, BHBS came out on all cylinders, controlling play for most of the frame. Nobody could seem to find the back of the net, despite several really good scoring chances. About halfway through the period, Vince Mizcek played a puck ahead to freshman Jared DiFiore, springing him loose on a breakaway. He ripped the wrister past Breiner as he took a hit to give BHBS a 2-1 lead. It was also his first career high school goal. Late in the period, Carroll was all alone on a breakaway, and BHBS defenseman Sam Swingruber took a tripping penalty to stop Carroll from scoring. It wouldn’t really end up mattering, though, as just 6 seconds into the powerplay, Andrew Kopplin ripped a shot that found a home past Tidmarsh, tying the game at 2.
In the third period, time went by pretty quickly, but nobody could score. Each team had several flurries of chances, but nothing went home. Tidmarsh was especially sharp in the third frame, as well. The best chance came when BHBS defenseman Nick Koszelak got room in the high slot and hit the post on a wrist shot with 2 seconds left. The game would go to overtime, still tied 2-2, after a scoreless third period.
In overtime, Bethlehem generated a lot of chances, but Tidmarsh had an answer for everything. He stopped everything they sent his way, and the game looked like it was headed for a tie as time began to run out. But all of a sudden, Alec Lind poke-checked the puck away from a Bethlehem defenseman at the blue line and skated down all alone. He used the classic forehand-backhand move to finish the game with 22.8 seconds remaining in overtime.
It’s an absolutely huge win for BHBS. They move to 4-1-0 overall (3-0-0 league) and pick up an enormous 2 points. They have another big game on Saturday vs La Salle, a game that could give them the inside track to the #1 seed in the Section if they can win it. Bethlehem falls to 4-3-0 (0-1-0 league) and will next play against Queensbury on Wednesday, hunting for their first league win.
BETH (12:48): Connor Carroll (3) ASST: Kellen Hagen (4)
BHBS (10:46): Noah Sinclair (1) ASST: Geordan Buffoline (6), Sean Speck (1)
BHBS (8:38): Jared DiFiore (1) ASST: Vince Mizcek (1)
BETH (1:53): Andrew Kopplin (1) ASST: None
BHBS (0:22): Alec Lind (8) ASST: None
BETH- Alex Breiner 17 saves (.850 %)
BHBS- Trevin Tidmarsh 30 saves (.938 %)