No. 1 Keene, the 2018 champion, eliminated No. 4 Oyster River, 4-1; and No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas, the defending champion, stopped No. 2 Merrimack, 4-2, in Wednesday night’s semifinals at Everett Arena to advance to Saturday’s title game at SNHU Arena (10:00 am.).
No. 1 Keene 4, No. 5 Oyster River 1
The Bobcats grabbed a 1-0 lead on Aiden Swiesz’s power play goal late in the first period and that stood until the Blackbirds’ Jerred Tattersall tallied twice to give Keene a 2-1 lead with 6:11 left in the second period. Joe Walsh and Ethan Russell (ENG) added third-period goals and Jacob Russell had 25 saves for the win. Claden Daubney finished with 29 saves for OR.
The Bobcats wound up 13-6-1.
No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas, 4, No. 2 Merrimack 2
This one was all about the kids as freshman forwards and brothers Colin Chrisom and Brendan Chrisom both scored and freshman goalie Britton Dunbar stopped 26 shots for the Saints. Matt Barnes and senior defenseman Luke Grella (GWG) also scored. Freshman forward Evan Roy had both goals for the Tomahawks. Junior Ben Hardy made 28 saves.
Merrimack finished with a 14-5-1 record.
Keene (14-3-2) is making its third championship game appearance in four years while this is the third straight for St. Thomas Aquinas (15-4-1). Keene won the 2018 title match between the two, 3-2. The teams tied in this year’s season opener and STA took a 4-3 decision on Jan. 29.
(Saturday, March 14)
SNHU Arena, 10:00 a.m.