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Hockey Bees rout Central Square in playoff opener

B'ville takes advantage of unexpected home game

Baldwinsville forwared Garth Gray (3) sees his shot from the point elude Central Square goaltender Keegan Murphy (29) in Thursday night's Division I quarterfinal. Gray also had three assists in the Bees' 8-2 victory over the Red Hawks.

Baldwinsville forwared Garth Gray (3) sees his shot from the point elude Central Square goaltender Keegan Murphy (29) in Thursday night's Division I quarterfinal. Gray also had three assists in the Bees' 8-2 victory over the Red Hawks. Scott Thomas

— “It really helps playing with two seniors,” Gray said. “They have a lot of confidence in me and pass me the puck a lot.”

Yet it was the visitors from Central Square who drew first blood 2:18 into the game. Kyle Bird, the Red Hawks’ top scorer on the season, slotted home a backhanded shot after receiving a long pass near center ice from fellow winger Mike Keller.

The Bees would not stay silent for long, though, pressing Red Hawks starting goalie Keegan Murphy into service with six shots on goal before senior Parker Ferrigan tied the score with nearly seven minutes gone.

Amid traffic in front of goal, Ferrigan collected a loose puck and put in the net from close range. Gray and his older brother Garth were credited with assists.

“I liked how we responded,” Lloyd said. “We went down 1-0 and I thought, 'Oh boy, here we go.' You don't want to let a team like this hang around. They're going to get tougher and more confident.”

The Brothers Gray put the Bees out in front for good with consecutive goals two minutes apart. Garrett collected a rebound from line mate Matt Zandri and put it through with 5:20 left in the opening period. Garth slung home a wristshot over Murphy’s left shoulder from the left circle.

Zandri padded the Bees’ lead in the period’s waning seconds as Garrett Gray found him all alone in front of goal for the score. B'ville enjoyed a majority of the possession and out-shot the visitors 22-6 in the first period to gain a 4-1 advantage.

In an attempt to change his team’s momentum, Red Hawks coach Jason Mucha switched Murphy for Mike Brown in net after the first intermission.

And the second period began much like the first did, only the Red Hawks got on the scoreboard just 20 seconds into play. Bees’ defenseman Ronnie Bertrand gave up the puck to Bird, who found forward Jeff Kane alone in front of goal for the easy finish.

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