Sunday, April 20, 2014

Muskie pucksters happy at home

One game was supposed to be a blowout and the other close.
That’s just what happened—except the results were reversed from what the expectations were.

The Muskie girls’ hockey team (4-0 in NorWOSSA play) shook off a weekend tournament loss to Dryden by thrashing the Eagles 9-4 on Tuesday at the ’52 Canadians Arena.
Over in the Ice For Kids Arena, meanwhile, the Muskie boys’ squad had to rally for a 4-2 win against a surprisingly strong St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora).
Hailey Clendenning, who had a hat trick and a game-high four points against Dryden, scored nine seconds into the second period to snap a 2-2 tie.
That started a six-goal barrage in the period for the home squad, which Clendenning said had revenge on its mind.
“We couldn’t get anything by [C.J.] Jolicoeur on Saturday,” Clendenning said about the Eagles’ goalie, who was yanked less than seven minutes into the second period Tuesday night after giving up five goals on the heels of posting a 4-0 shutout against the Muskies at the Portage Collegiate Institute Christmas Classic tournament in Portage la Prairie over the weekend.
“Tonight we got some nice shots by her,” Clendenning noted. “The hockey gods were on our side tonight.”
Jolicoeur’s night got off to a rough start when Jessica Coran’s 10-foot wrist shot bounced off the goalie’s glove and into the net only 1:49 into the first.
After Emmy Arsenault tied it for the Eagles at 7:36, Amber Jourdain fed a sweet cross-ice pass to Katie Sinclair during a power-play that Sinclair converted on the doorstep at 13:25 for a 2-1 lead.
Dryden seemed to grab the momentum back with 25 seconds left in the frame when Martina Wintle caught Muskie goalie Calie Clendenning cheating in anticipation of a pass across and instead fired a shot past the netminder’s blocker on the short side.
But Hailey Clendenning’s slapshot shortly after the opening face-off of the second fooled Jolicoeur to unleash the avalanche for the Muskies, who had reserve roster call-up
Sydney Johnson in the lineup for injured blueliner Lauren Vold.
“If we put three of those second periods together, that’s a hockey game,” said Muskie head coach Scott Clendenning.
“We talked after the first about being more responsible defensively and be hard on the puck,” he noted.
“When we’re skating, it’s hard for teams to keep up with us.”
Kaily Greengrass made it 4-2 at 3:48 before Hailey Clendenning notched her second at 6:37 to chase Jolicoeur.
Back-up Jacquie Grandmont provided little relief, as Shelby Tymkin, Clendenning (with her hat-trick goal), and Jourdain (with a 20-foot bullet) all scored before the middle stanza was done to make it 8-2.
Greengrass added her second at 7:03 of the third before Jenna Langlais and Wintle (power play) made the final score somewhat more respectable.
“I think Saturday we went in with our heads a little too high,” admitted Muskie blueliner Sam McKinnon.
“We have to play our hardest every night to win,” she stressed.
The Muskie boys, meanwhile, found themselves down 2-1 after two periods to a Saints’ team that Fort High had beaten 6-1 earlier this season.
David Pryde fuelled the comeback with the equalizer 1:03 into the third against Ryan Landon before setting up Jarred Taylor for the game-winner at 9:01.
“I was coming up the ice and the defence went to [Pryde] and I called for it,” Taylor recalled.
“I shot it about 14 inches beneath [Landon’s] blocker.
“It was good to get that goal to get our team riled up,” he added.
Chase Ferguson added an empty-netter with 40 seconds to go while Aaron McDowall had the other Muskie marker.
Rory Keith and Dan Bishop scored for the Saints against Derek Kaemingh, who picked up the win in goal.
Muskie head coach Jamie Davis was happy his team came back, but not pleased with the fact it was in that situation to begin with.
“There was a lack of urgency,” admitted Davis, who wasn’t making excuses about his team being fatigued despite having played in a weekend tournament in Brandon, Man.
“We’re not thinking the game,” he stressed. “We’re working hard but we’re not thinking.
“We get tons of opportunities, but we shoot it into the crest or shoot it wide.”
The Muskie girls head to Kenora tonight to face the Broncos in NorWOSSA action, then head back there tomorrow for the start of the Broncos’ annual home tournament.
The boys, who faced the Saints without injured forward Malcolm King, next host the Kittson Central Bobcats (Hallock, Mn.) in an exhibition game Saturday at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
The team will hold their “Teddy Bear, Toque and Mitt Toss” at the game, with the donations going towards the local branch of The Salvation Army.
In related news, the Muskies’ postponed home game from Monday against the Red Lake Rams originally was re-scheduled for next Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
But Red Lake was unable to make it here that day, so the game instead will be made up sometime in January.

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