Upset Alert: Bethpage Defeats Bellmore-Merrick for the First Time in 17 Years



On December 18th, the Bethpage Eagles hockey team defeated the powerhouse of the Bellmore-Merrick Bulldogs 5-1. This was the first time the Eagles have beaten this team since the 2000-2001 season, and what a game it was. “It was an all around team effort,” said head coach Jeff Schmier. He then added on saying this one felt “real good.”


Right off the puck drop, it was all electricity. The Bulldogs came out very strong with speed, shots and energy but the Eagles were able to fend them off. Soon the Eagles got a power play. During this powerplay goaltender Spyro Markoulis made a huge breakaway save to keep the game knotted at zeros. Shortly after this penalty ended, the Eagles had to kill one of their own. Not long after, defenseman Kevin Drucker weaved his way into the zone and ripped a shot from the “hashies” and it trickled its way into the back of the net to make the score 1-0 in favor of the boys in gold. After one period it was 1-0.


When the second period came about, the Bulldogs played with a sense nervousness and hostility. This was a very hardfought period until the last few minutes in which captain Gavin Hulser ripped yet another goal adding on to his league-leading total.


After two periods of play, the score was 2-0 Eagles. During the intermission a motivational speech was given by Captain Gavin Hulser, a 5-year vet, stating that, “We have never been here before. We need to finish it now. No excuses.” The Eagles carried out on their captains message and played a hardfought third period like it was the last one of their lives.


Shortly into the third period, there was a scrum in front of the net, and the puck was loose. The puck looked like it was traveling to point for a drive from Will Dixon but was deflected near the faceoff dot by Kevin Drucker. The goalie never saw it coming. 3-0 game, Eagles. This was Drucker’s second goal of the game. The Eagles were in the driver’s seat until yet another powerplay sparked an ejection of one of the Bellmore-Merrick players. On this powerplay, the Bulldogs were exhausted and it showed on the ice. The Eagles were ripping shots from everywhere on the ice until yet again, Gavin Hulser scored on a ferocious one timer from goal line extended. 4-0, Eagles.


Time was ticking down, but shortly after the 6 minute mark. Bellmore scored on a shot that was deflected in front of the net which would make the score 4-1. Less than 2 minutes after that the Eagles suffered a penalty. After a “Yuuuuuuge” save from goalie Spyro Markoulis, the puck bounced out to the point. Before the Bellmore defense could even put their stick on the puck Gavin Hulser swooped in and stole it.

Hulser was on a breakaway, the Eagles bench was silent and still watching as Hulser came in one-on-one with the goalie. He reached back and put the puck in the back of the net, bar-down, 5-1 Eagles with less than three minutes. The Eagles bench was going crazy and they knew they just took down the beast of Bellmore-Merrick


The final buzzer sounded and the Eagles poured over the boards and met Markoulis at their end of the ice. Markoulis was MVP of the game, had 43 saves on 44 shots. He was absolutely stellar and well-deserving of the hard hat. He later went on to save after the game, “I can’t even describe [winning]. It felt great.” When asked about hearing the final buzzer he said, “I was on cloud 9. After years of them kicking our asses it feels so good to stick it back to them.” Junior Matt Salerno also had a huge game. He was a playmaker and had 2 assists contributing to the W.


The next game for the Eagles on January 2nd, at The PowerPlant (TOB Ice Skating Center) against Cold Spring Harbor.


Nassau County HS Hockey Power Rankings

  1. Long Beach Marines
  2. Bethpage Eagles
  3. Bellmore-Merrick Bulldogs
  4. Syosset Braves
  5. Cold Spring Harbor Seahawks
  6. Massapequa Chiefs
  7. Manhasset Indians
  8. Levittown-Hicksville
  9. Locust-Valley North-Shore
  10. Rockville Centre