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Hockey: Experience is necessary

Caswell and Carroll return to lead Bethlehem’s top line into the 2013-14 season

Bethlehem defenseman Robert Lemieux, right, battles for the puck during a recent hockey practice at the Bethlehem Area YMCA. The Eagles begin their season at this weekend’s Shaker/Colonie Thanksgiving Tournament at the Albany County Hockey Facility.

Bethlehem defenseman Robert Lemieux, right, battles for the puck during a recent hockey practice at the Bethlehem Area YMCA. The Eagles begin their season at this weekend’s Shaker/Colonie Thanksgiving Tournament at the Albany County Hockey Facility. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— Replacing Cooley in goal is a bigger challenge, though. Rodrigue said junior Carl Cusack is the leading candidate to be the starter, but he’ll have a lot to live up to.

“You know, it’s big shoes to fill. We’ve had solid goaltending the last four years between Kevin Cooley, Patrick Miron and Alex Cooper,” said Rodrigue.

Cusack or senior goaltender Taylor Nunez will have help in front of them, as Bethlehem returns a pair of talented defensemen in junior Nicholas Brenier and senior Robert Lemieux.

“With the talent we have up front, we can average three or four goals a game this year,” said Rodrigue. “But we’re solid on the defensive side, as well. If we take care of the puck at the defensive end, we won’t need to rely on our offense like other teams in the league do.”

The Eagles start their season at this weekend’s Shaker/Colonie Thanksgiving Tournament at the Albany County Hockey Facility in Colonie. Bethlehem meets Section IV’s Ithaca Friday at 4:45 p.m. and plays Section I’s Mamaroneck Saturday at 10 a.m.

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