Keene boys' hockey routs Oyster River for quarterfinal win
In front of a packed crowd at Keene Ice Saturday, the Keene High hockey team took care of business in its quarterfinal matchup against No. 8 Oyster River.
The top-seed Blackbirds skated past the visitors, 6-2.
Keene took some time to find its legs in the first period. Once it did, though, it was all over.
Freshman Zach Mooers got things started for the Birds. Mooers received a pass from Dimitri Seger and flew in toward goal, firing a shot over the shoulder of the Oyster River goalie with 5:29 to play.
Less than a minute later, Brian Langevin finished a give-and-go play to put Keene up, 2-0. The Blackbirds were far from done. Ben Brown buried an open-net opportunity 1:10 later thanks to a cross-ice pass from Owen Haas.
With 17 seconds to go in the period, Connor Murphy entered the offensive zone and fired a shot top shelf to give the Birds a 4-0 lead after one.
Seger scored the team’s only goal in the second period, burying a rebound in front of the net.
Oyster River scored twice in the third, but it was far too little as Langevin scored again to cap off an offensive show for the Blackbirds.
Keene outshot Oyster River 30-19; Blackbird goaltender Myles Ditkoff made 17 saves for the win.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Coach Chris McIntosh said after his team’s win. “But I’m certainly happy about going back to the semis for the third straight year. … If we can play our game, I really like our chances.”
The Blackbirds, trying to get back to the state-title game for a second straight year, face the winner of Saturday’s late game between No. 4 Goffstown and No. 5 Dover Wednesday in Exeter. The puck on that game drops at 7:30 p.m.
The Birds have won 13 straight. Their last non-win was a 3-3 tie at Dover Jan. 3
In other quarterfinals, No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas beat No. 6 Lebanon-Stevens, 3-2, and No. 2 Windham played No. 7 Kingswoood in a late start. The two winners of that contest play the first semifinal Wednesday, at 5:30 p.m.