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Nassau County Champions



Official Box Score

Once upon a time in Bethpage, the Eagles soared to a 3-2 victory over the Bellmore-Merrick Bulldogs to win the NYIHSHL Championship Series. Matteo Bellise won the 2023-2024 Playoff MVP Trophy after making 138 saves on 143 shots in four post-season appearances. On Wednesday night, the Bethpage Eagles netminder made 39 stops on 41 shots. Marko Lisica assisted on all three Eagles goals. Senior Jake McAuliffe opened the scoring for the Eagles, Junior Nick Morolla potted the second, and it was Senior Stavros Likourentzos who scored the golden goal.

Joey Braglia made 19 saves on 22 shots against for Bellmore-Merrick. Sophomore Chase Goldman and Junior Collin Roulston scored for the Bulldogs. Bellmore-Merrick went one for four on the power play and outshot Bethpage 41-22 on the night. The Bulldogs went three for three on the kill. It’s hard to imagine what they could have done differently to change the outcome. That’s how good Bellise, Lisica and Likourentzos were on Wednesday night.

Jake McAuliffe scored his 3rd goal of the playoffs to give the Bethpage Eagles a 1-0 lead with 13:05 left in the 1st period. McAuliffe skated into a drop pass by Marko Lisica at the blue line, drove in towards the slot with the puck on his backhand, before bringing it to his forehand to fire it past a sliding Braglia. Chase Goldman scored his 1st goal of the playoffs for the Bellmore-Merrick Bulldogs to tie the game at 1-1. Goldman stuffed it short side to beat Bellise, after forcing a turnover beneath the goal line.

Collin Roulston scored his second of the playoffs on the power play to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead with 12:31 remaining in the second stanza. Roulston entered the Eagles zone on the right wing side, cut towards center and rifled one past a sliding Bellise. Nick Morolla scored his fourth of the playoffs to tie the game 2-2 with 7:12 remaining in the 2nd period. Marko Lisica moved the puck low-to-high for Senior Michael Sheahan. The Eagles defenseman fired a shot from the point that Morolla, who was screening Braglia right in front, redirected home.

Stravros Likourentzos scored his third of the post-season to give the Bethpage Eagles a 3-2 lead with 10:26 left in the 3rd period. Likourentzos made a drop pass at the line to Marko Lisica, who moved the puck from the left wing wall towards center. Likourentzos crashed the net, received a nice feed from Lisica, and went backhand-forehand to evade the poke check of Braglia before firing it home. The Bulldogs went on the power play with 1:26 remaining in the final frame. After Bellmore-Merrick called timeout, Joey Braglia was pulled in favor of an extra attacker. The Bulldogs continued to generate Grade A scoring chances before preventing Marko Lisica from scoring an empty net goal. After a big save by Matteo Bellise with 14 seconds remaining in the 3rd period, Bethpage used their timeout. Stavros Likourentzos won the ensuing face off back to the defense. After a failed clearing attempt by the Eagles defense, the puck was pinned in the right wing corner. The Bulldogs managed to yank it out and Junior Nick Drogan fired a shot that was blocked. The Bulldogs managed to get one last shot on net, but Bellise made the stop as the horn sounded. The Eagles had done it.

StarPlayer (Team)Stat LinePerformance Summary
1stMatteo Bellise39 Saves, 2GA, WinWhat else is there to say about Matteo Bellise? The Senior netminder did everything but score for the Bethpage Eagles in the playoffs. Bellise is truly one of a kind.
2ndMarko Lisica 3 AssistsMarko Lisica is him. The Eagle Junior had a hand in every goal scored by Bethpage tonight. Lisica plays with incredible speed and skill while also showcasing an unreal feel for the game.
3rdStavros LikourentzosGame Winning GoalIt was one last lap for Stavros Likourentzos, who scored the golden goal to lift his team to a Nassau County Championship. It doesn’t get any better then this.
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