Russo had to be a little selfish in Bethlehem's most recent game, an 8-3 victory over a stubborn Niskayuna/Schenectady squad last Saturday at the Schenectady County Recreational Facility in Glenville. He scored three of his five goals in the third period to help the Eagles pull away.
In other games, though, Bethlehem's second line has been as effective as its top line. The trio of freshman Derek Barach (8 goals, 11 assists) and sophomores Sam Vincent (5 goals, 6 assists) and John Gosstola (5 goals, 6 assists) has had several big games, including a 2-goal night against Shaker/Colonie.
"It's good to see them playing very well right now, and that's why I'm keeping my seniors on one line " so I can keep those guys together on a line," said Rodrigue of his underclassmen. "It's a unique situation having two high-powered lines."
The scoring hasn't been limited to Bethlehem's top two forward lines, though. Several more players have gotten in on the act including senior forward Packy Carroll (2 goals, 6 assists) and sophomore defenseman Nick Parente, who's scored in each of the Eagles' last two games.
"The amount of productivity out of 15 guys is a tribute to how much talent we have," said Rodrigue.
The teamwork the Eagles have shown in building a potent attack is a reflection of the camaraderie that the players have built as they've helped raise money to pay for the team's ice time at the Bethlehem Area YMCA.
"These kids have worked hard off the ice, and it's a great team building exercise having them go out and work at things like car washes and other fund-raising efforts," said Rodrigue. "That's given them a sense of ownership about this season."
Though Bethlehem has looked good through the first half of the CDHSHL season, Rodrigue said he knows there will be more challenges ahead of the Eagles starting with Wednesday's rematch with LaSalle " a team they defeated 4-2 in the season opener Nov. 28 " and continuing with CDHSHL power Saratoga Friday. There are also games against Shenendehowa, Queensbury and Glens Falls coming up in the next four weeks. Glens Falls defeated Bethlehem 4-2 Dec. 8.
"The next half of the season will say a lot about this team and how far we've come this season," said Rodrigue.""