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Hockey: Cooley shines for Bethlehem in consolation game

Senior goaltender stops 34 shots in victory over Shaker/Colonie

Shaker/Colonie's Mike Minneau falls as he brings the puck into Bethlehem's zone during Saturday's S/C Thanksgiving Tournament consolation game at the Albany County Hockey Facility.

Shaker/Colonie's Mike Minneau falls as he brings the puck into Bethlehem's zone during Saturday's S/C Thanksgiving Tournament consolation game at the Albany County Hockey Facility. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— When the Bethlehem hockey team needed a boost, Kevin Cooley provided it.

The senior goaltender made 20 of his 34 saves in the pivotal second period to help the Eagles rally for a 3-2 victory over Shaker/Colonie in the S/C Thanksgiving Tournament's consolation game Saturday at the Albany County Hockey Facility.

"Kevin Cooley played really well for us today," said Bethlehem coach Andre Rodrigue.

S/C (0-1-1) looked like the better team in the first period. Goals by Kevin Egan and Mike Minneau helped the Jets build a 2-0 lead on Bethlehem (1-1-0).

Rodrigue said his team was still feeling the effects of Friday's 5-4 overtime loss to Section I's Mamaroneck in the tournament's opening round when it took the ice against S/C.

"It was going to be one of two things -- either we came out flat or we came out sharp and hungry, and we came out flat," said Rodrigue. "It took the better part of the first period to get our legs under us."

As Cooley turned aside shot after shot in the second period, Bethlehem's offense got in gear. RJ Diego scored with 9:13 left off a pass from Zach Flagler, and Andrew Carroll tallied off Matt State's assist with 5:07 left to help the Eagles even the score at 2-2.

Carroll scored his second goal of the game less than five minutes into the third period to put Bethlehem in front, and S/C thwarted its own comeback hopes by taking several penalties including a four-minute major with less than seven minutes left. The Jets killed off all four penalties they incurred in the final period, but they spent too much time in their defensive zone to generate any sustained pressure in the Eagles' zone.

"We had a good start today, but as a team we have to tighten up defensively and mature in our play," said S/C coach Steve Hudak.

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