Falls draws first blood in annual border battle


An animal cornered is at its most dangerous.
A short-handed goal that gave the Muskie boys’ hockey team the lead inspired the International Falls Broncos to turn the tables in a hurry.
With a little late-game dramatics thrown into the mix, the host Broncos eked out a 4-3 exhibition win over the Muskies last Tuesday night (Jan. 4).
The game, the first of two between the cross-border rivals this season (the return match is set for Feb. 18 at the Ice For Kids Arena), evolved into a thriller, with Dominic Casareto sending the home fans into a frenzy by netting the game-winner with 2:02 left in regulation time.
Casareto reeled in a pass from Alex Bruess, who delivered the puck while sitting on the ice, and just got the shot off in time before colliding with Muskie goalie Devin Stromness.
The Muskies appeared to have grabbed control of the game earlier in the period. After Fort High killed off a 5-on-3 Broncos’ power play, the puck was sent ahead to Nick Jourdain, who just happened to be stepping out of the penalty box at that moment.
Jourdain raced in on a breakaway and had his initial shot stopped by Broncos’ goalie Glenn Walls, but slipped home the rebound to tie the game 2-2.
With the black-and-gold pumped up, Brendan Cawston then infused his teammates with more adrenalin by tallying a short-handed marker 25 seconds later for his second goal of the contest to put the Muskies ahead.
But the Broncos stiffened their upper lip and immediately struck back, with Michael Bounds notching the equalizer just 29 seconds later.
The Muskies pulled Stromness with one minute to go but Walls and the Broncos stood firm despite a flurry of activity in front of the Falls’ net in the dying seconds.
Fort High resumes NorWOSSA action this weekend with a pair of games re-scheduled for the ’52 Canadians Arena against the Red Lake Rams.
The two contests originally were slated to be played in Red Lake. But a change in arena availability means the Rams will visit here for games on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and again on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
The Muskies then will travel to Dryden next Tuesday (Jan. 18) to face the Eagles.