The Bethlehem hockey team is raising money and awareness for a new cause this season.
The team is holding a fundraiser for research of alopecia – an auto-immune disease that creates hair loss – during its Wednesday, Jan. 21, home game against Christian Brothers Academy at the Bethlehem Area YMCA.
The disease hits particularly close to home for the Eagles. Coach Andre Rodrigue’s 4-year-old son was diagnosed with alopecia last year, and though it’s not a life-threatening illness, Rodrigue said it’s still hard for him to handle.
“This really struck a chord with me. The fact that they’re doing this for my son is great not only for him, but for other kids as well,” said Rodrigue.
The Eagles will wear specially-designed jerseys featuring a red cap – the symbol organizations use to showcase support for alopecia – and are also asking fans to wear hats. Money raised from the game’s 50/50 drawing and “chuck-a-puck” promotions will go toward alopecia research.
“I’m very grateful for the support from the Bethlehem hockey community, and the players have been great with (my son),” said Rodrigue.
Alopecia is the latest disease the hockey team has held a fundraiser for. The past two years, the Eagles have held fundraisers for lupus research after one of their players was diagnosed with the disease.
Bethlehem (3-2-0 league, 4-6-0 overall) broke a three-game losing streak by beating CBA 3-1 Saturday, Jan. 10, in a Capital District High School Hockey League game at the Albany County Hockey Facility in Colonie. Hayes Meredith scored two goals, and goaltender Carl Cusack stopped 18 of the 19 shots he faced to lead the Eagles.
“They played us tough,” Rodrigue said of CBA (0-5-0, 3-7-0). “We should have scored more goals than we did, but their goaltender (Jared Vandeloo) played very well.”
The Eagles look to carry the momentum from their road victory over CBA into their next home game – a CDHSHL contest against LaSalle Wednesday, Jan. 14.
“I believe in this team,” said Rodrigue. “We have some good, young talent and some good leadership. We just have to mature as a team.”
The Bethlehem boys basketball team had its most dominating performance of the season with its 96-58 Suburban Council victory over Columbia Friday, Jan. 9, in Bethlehem.
The Eagles (6-2 league, 8-2 overall) raced out to a 27-9 lead in the first quarter, and they never looked back in coasting past the Blue Devils (4-4, 5-5).
John Sica led four Bethlehem players in double figures with 21 points. Kevin Weber had 15 points, Zane Thompson contributed 13 points and John Riker added 11 points in the victory, which extended the Eagles’ winning streak to seven games.
Jahlil Nails scored 22 points for Columbia.
Bethlehem traveled to Colonie Tuesday, Jan. 13 for a Suburban Council South Division contest. The Eagles host Shaker Friday, Jan. 16.
Gabby Giacone had a big night for the Bethlehem girls basketball team in its 55-42 Suburban Council victory over Columbia Friday, Jan. 9, in East Greenbush.
The Northeastern University-bound senior guard poured in 27 points to lead the Lady Eagles (7-1, 8-2). Giacone did most of her scoring inside the three-point arc, as she made 12 field goals.
Jenna Giacone contributed eight points, and Maggie Kirby added seven points for Bethlehem. Selena Lott’s 19 points paced Columbia (4-3, 4-4).
Associate editor/sports editor