Friday, October 31, 2014

Muskie pucksters ready for playoffs

Enough of the dress rehearsals. Let’s get on with the big show.
The Muskie boys’ and girls’ hockey teams are anxious to begin what they hope will be championship runs as the NorWOSSA playoffs get underway this week.

On the girls’ side, the black-and-gold capped their regular season last night in Red Lake against the Rams (the score was unavailable by press time).
Fort High clinched first place in NorWOSSA a while ago and looked every bit the favourite to take this season’s title after a 4-1 win over their arch-rivals—the Dryden Eagles—last Tuesday at the ’52 Canadians Arena.
The Muskies improved to 14-0 with the win, which illustrated in spades the amount of disdain the two sides have for one another.
The memo on how no body contact is allowed in girls’ hockey apparently got lost in the mail as the Muskies and Eagles went at each other tooth-and-nail in an effort to send a message prior to a likely meeting in the NorWOSSA final.
“I actually expected that kind of play from them,” said fired-up Muskie captain Shelby Tymkin.
“It’s always quite the rivalry when we play them.
“We just have to get past them hacking us and not responding in that way,” she added.
“When we score on them is when we’re going to hurt them the most.”
Tymkin was drawn into the physical shenanigans of the Eagles—at one point nearly trading punches with Dryden’s Sydney Allen behind the Eagles’ net.
While the result of last night’s game in Red Lake could impact the standings, it looked probable that Fort High will face the fourth-place Kenora Broncos in the best-of-three semi-finals.
Game 1 will take place Friday at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice for Kids Arena, with Game 2 set for Sunday in Kenora.
Game 3, if necessary, will take place Monday (Feb. 24) at 7 p.m. at the Couchiching Arena.
In boys’ action, meanwhile, the Muskies finished their regular season with a 5-3 road victory last Thursday in Dryden to secure top spot in NorWOSSA.
“I thought Dryden played well and we played OK, although we had a few mistakes that cost us,” noted Muskie head coach Jamie Davis.
Assistant captain Braden Webb scored twice for Fort High (15-1) while Jarred Taylor, Graeme Kitt, and Jack Hamilton added singles.
Jonah Johnson getting the victory between the pipes.
Two nights earlier, the Muskies turned a 2-2 second-period tie into an 8-4 victory over the visiting Kenora Broncos.
Derek Kaemingh got the win in goal (the goal scorers were not available at press time).
In what may be a finals preview, the Muskies and Broncos exchanged a number of hits both at and beyond the legal limit, especially in a tension-filled third period.
“They [Kenora] like to get chippy; that’s their game,” said Webb.
“We just have to keep our head down and not get caught up in their chintzy stickwork,” he stressed.
With Kenora edging the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints 2-1 last Thursday, the semi-final pairings were set with the same match-ups that happened that night.
The Muskies will host Dryden in Game 1 of their best-of-three semi-final tomorrow (Feb. 20) at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena, then travel to Dryden for Game 2 on Sunday.
Game 3, if needed, it will take place Monday (Feb. 24) at 7:15 p.m. back at the IFK Arena.

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