This past week, Oyster River High School’s Varsity Boys Ice Hockey experienced a rise, and then a fall, between their two games. On Thursday, January 12th, the team hosted a game versus #15 team Timberlane, and defeated the team 10-1. However, on Saturday, January 14th when the team hosted a game versus #1 team Keene, they lost 5-1.
The team felt very proud after the game versus Timberlane as it had shown that their hard work was paying off. Offensive captain Michael Donovan (‘17) reflects on their win saying: “Our team went out and wanted the puck more. We were able to minimize our mistakes and create strong scoring opportunities.” Several players on the ORHS team were able to score, with the most amount of goals (3) scored by assistant captain Devin Kaya (‘17).
The Boys’ game against Timberlane
Not only was offense on their game against Timberlane, but defense was too. “We kept the other team to the outside of the rink and kept them from our net. We limited the opportunities for the other team and were really effective in limiting their chances,” says defensive captain Anson Thibault (‘17).
After Thursday’s success, the team had begun to realize how important the game versus Keene was going to be with Kaya predicting: “When we play the best team in the league on Saturday, we need to utilize our bodies [hit more] because Keene is a really good team and we have to establish a physical presence so they know they can’t walk all over us,” said Kaya, but although the team went into the game with a plan, it didn’t turn out in their favor.
The Boys’ game against Keene
Reflecting on Saturday’s loss, Kaya says “ Keene has an overall solid group of kids who have been playing with each other in a strong program for many years. They understand the fundamentals of hockey and have a lot more skill [than us]. They use their bodies well, which Timberlane couldn’t do,” says Kaya, who adds that “Keene has great depth with a strong defense, aggressive offense, and good goal tender.”
Focusing on the success of future games, Kaya says that he hopes “to see players be smart with the puck in our neutral zone [middle section between the blue lines] because if you’re not smart in that zone, the other team will have the momentum.”
Lastly, despite the team’s hard loss on Saturday, Kaya explains; “I’m happy with my line and how it’s come along and I’m happy with how much work the team has put in this year.”
Come support the bobcats as they go up against #10 team Portsmouth held at the Whittemore Center at UNH at 7:30 p.m..
Written by Andrea Staples
Photos by Jae Fletcher