Settling for a tie in hockey is nothing to write home about.
That is, unless you're the Bethlehem Eagles, and the team you tie is the Shenendehowa Plainsmen.
Shen's Derek Discanio scored the equalizer early in the third period to help the Plainsmen pull out a 2-2 tie against Bethlehem in Saturday's Capital District High School Hockey League game at the Bethlehem Area YMCA.
Overall, I'm pleased with our performance, said Bethlehem coach Andre Rodrigue. "Bethlehem had never beaten Shen before, and to come out with a 2-2 tie, I'm very happy."
It looked like it was going to be another typical Shen-Bethlehem game when the Plainsmen's Matt Dempsey scored 42 seconds into the first period to give Shen (7-5-1) a 1-0 lead. But Sam Vincent tallied 35 seconds later to tie the game for the Eagles (9-2-1).
"That says a lot about these kids," said Rodrigue. "Getting down 1-0 so early can be devastating but we didn't give up."
Bethlehem gained the lead on Kyle Barach's second-period goal, and the Eagles maintained it until Discanio scored on a power play early in the third period.
"It's always a little disappointing when you give up a lead in the third period, but a one-goal lead is tough to hold on to, especially against Shen," said Rodrigue.
Each team had several chances to take the lead following Discanio's goal, but the two goaltenders " Shen's Peter Rakowsky and Bethlehem's Alex Cooper " were up to the challenge. Rakowsky finished with 28 saves, while Cooper stopped 31 shots.
"We wanted to come out with a win and make a statement to the rest of the league, but to pull out a tie against Shen says a lot about our team," said Rodrigue.
Bethlehem faced another strong challenge Tuesday when it hosted Queensbury in a Division II battle.
"We need to make another statement within our own division," said Rodrigue. "We need to pounce on [Queensbury] early. We can't afford to get down early to them."
Following Tuesday's showdown with Queensbury, Bethlehem hosts South Glens Falls/Hudson Falls Friday in the Eagles' annual "Big Orange Freak Out" game.""