The Bethlehem hockey team showed its resiliency in Saturday's Thanksgiving Tournament championship game against North Rockland.
Tom Dolfi's overtime goal helped the Eagles defeat the Raiders 6-5 at the Bethlehem Area YMCA.
Bethlehem (2-0) overcame a 4-2 deficit in the second period to take a 5-4 lead, only to have that erased on Craig Meany's second goal of the game early in the third period. Then in overtime, the Eagles withstood some offensive pressure from North Rockland during a Raider power play before Dolfi tallied the game-winning goal.
We showed a lot of heart and character as a team, said Bethlehem coach Dick Hughes. "We're working really hard to become a team."
Sean O'Connor put Bethlehem in a hole in the first period. The senior forward tallied 42 seconds into the game off a pass from Meany and scored again less than five minutes later to give North Rockland (1-1) a 2-0 lead.
Matt Bub gave Bethlehem fans something to cheer about with a goal at 7:51 of the first period, but O'Connor " who was named the tournament's most valuable player " struck again less than three minutes later to give North Rockland a 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
Hughes saw enough out of O'Connor in the first period to make a tactical change. Whenever O'Connor was on the ice, a Bethlehem defender was near him. That was enough to keep O'Connor from getting on the score sheet again.
"Once I got into the fact that this kid was the only one who was scoring for them, I took one kid each shift and had him shadow him," Hughes said.
Bethlehem still had to dig itself out of a two-goal deficit " a process that took the better part of the second period. Dolfi opened the scoring 23 seconds into the period with a shot in traffic, but Meany tallied on a power play to give North Rockland a 4-2 lead. That didn't last long, though, as Tony Weeks and Stephen Russo scored during a 1:35 span to tie the game at 4. Eric Halek then scored with 3:18 left in the second period to put Bethlehem ahead 5-4.