SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Bethlehem boys ice hockey team came roaring out of the gate to start the 2022-’23 season, winning its’ first eight games. Then, on Dec. 30, the Eagles were blown out by Sec. V’s Notre Dame Batavia 6-2 for their first loss of the season.

It was that humbling defeat that senior goalie Rory Cairns believes played in integral part in the team’s postseason run that culminated Tuesday night in a section title.

“We were pretty confident, and then we lost a big game in our Albany Academy tournament over (winter) break,” said Cairns. “I mean, that was kind of just a shock. We were like, “Okay, we’re beatable. Now we gotta find out our weaknesses; work on them.” And ultimately, that’s what got us here.”

Bethlehem, the two-seed in the Sec. II, Division I boys ice hockey tournament, showed few weakness in its’ 4-1 victory over the fourth-seeded Capital Division Jets to claim a sectional championship.

The Eagles managed to ride the momentum they had garnered from a thrilling, overtime victory Sunday in the semifinals against No. 3 Shenendehowa into Tuesday’s title match. They wasted little time jumping out to an early lead against the Jets; junior forward Tyler Fabian scored a back-door goal after CD netminder Nicholas Mirabile deflected a shot from Bethlehem’s Jackson Adams. Fabian collected the puck just outside the crease, and Mirabile never saw him; Fabian struck to get the Eagles on the board first.

It’d stay a one-goal game until the second period, but that’s when Bethlehem started to create some separation. Sophomore forward Owen Godlewski capitalized on a breakaway to give Bethlehem a 2-0 edge.

Then, later in the period, junior forward Hugh Sullivan delivered another insurance goal off an assist from sophomore forward Dylan McInerney, and the Eagles held a 3-0 advantage after three periods.

The two sides traded goals in the final frame, and Bethlehem secured the section title with the 4-1 victory.

After the game, Eagles head coach Dylan Lappe detailed the team’s game plan against a Jets team that had just come off of an upset in the semifinal round against top-seeded Adirondack.

“(In) our section, we have all different types of teams,” said Lappe. “Some are hitters; some are skaters. We knew they were going to try to slow us down. We just had to keep our feet moving, find our lane, and let it go.”

Bethlehem improves to 20-3, and closed the season on a seven-game winning streak. Capital District concludes its’ season 14-9.