Broncos shock Muskies

Last night’s third-and-deciding game of the NorWOSSA boys’ hockey final here certainly taught Muskie fans to expect the unexpected.
The Kenora Broncos left the Ice for Kids Arena with gold medals around their necks after upsetting the first-place Muskies 3-0—taking the series 2-1 with both wins coming on Fort High’s home ice.
The Muskies still advance to the all-Ontarios later this month, having an automatic berth as the host team, but how they’ll be seeded after finishing second in their own league remains to be seen.
“Not what I expected,” head coach Shane Bliss said after last night’s shocker. “I thought we would take them on home ice.
“Honestly, I think we played better on the road,” Bliss added, referring to the Muskies’ 4-1 win in Kenora on Sunday that kept the series alive.
The black-and-gold had some serious trouble with their passing plays last night, but their biggest obstacle was the stellar goaltending performance by Matt Liske of the Broncos.
“That was one of the big difficulties,” Bliss remarked. “He [Liske] was just so hot.”
Bliss wasn’t the only one not expecting last night’s loss, noting the team was very excited before they stepped out onto the ice.
“I don’t know what went wrong. It wasn’t exactly an effort you would expect to see at a championship game,” he admitted.
Kevin Bobczynski saw it a different way.
“We played a great game,” he said. “It’s definitely disappointing to lose. It’s hard to swallow.”
Looking ahead to OFSAA, which runs March 22-25 here and in Emo, there are a couple of things the Muskies will have work on.
“We just have to prepare differently and get ready to go at the drop of the puck,” Bliss said.
So the big question? Is the team prepared for the competition they’ll face at the all-Ontarios?
“We’re getting there,” Bobczynski said. “We have to be a little more focused. It’s hard to say.”
The Broncos scored just seven minutes into the first period to put the Muskies back on their heels. Their struggles continued into the second period, when Kenora iced the game with its other two goals.
The Muskies came out in the third with a little more energy, but faded as the period progressed. Neither team ended up scoring.
“[Kenora] played an excellent game,” said Bliss. “They didn’t do anything fancy; they just worked hard. They deserved to win.”
As mentioned, the Muskies were coming off a 4-1 victory Sunday in Kenora to stave off elimination.
After Brian White made it 1-0 in the first period, Bobczynski scored early in the second before the Broncos made it 2-1 heading into the third.
Tyler Miller and Matt Redford each scored in the third to seal the victory.
The series opened here Friday night with Kenora winning 2-1 in double overtime in a penalty-filled affair.
The frustrated Muskies racked up 255 penalty minutes, including Josh Sigurdson, who was handed a two-game misconduct after a post-game brawl between the two teams.
Seven other Muskies were assessed penalties from the squabble, which were served at the start of Sunday’s game.
The Broncos, meanwhile, were whistled for 93 minutes in the box, with four of their players serving 10-minute misconducts Sunday for the tiff at the end of Friday night’s game.
The Broncos had taken a 1-0 lead in the first, but Tyson Romyn tied the game early in the second—and it stayed that way until Kenora scored the game-winner at 5:24 of the second overtime.
In related news, the Dryden Eagles earned the third NorWOSSA berth at the all-Ontarios here later this month after sweeping the Red Lake Rams in their series over the weekend.
The Muskies had beaten fourth-place Dryden in the semi-finals while Kenora disposed of the third-place Rams.