Jourdain hoping team learns from tourneys

Lucas Punkari

Having faced tough competition in a pair of out-of-town tournaments over the holiday break, Muskie boys’ hockey head coach Shawn Jourdain is hoping his squad learned some valuable lessons as they prepare to resume NorWOSSA play this week.
“The kind of hockey that we went up against in both Duluth and Winnipeg, which was against teams with a lot of speed, is something that I hope that the guys realized that they need to start playing at,” Jourdain remarked.
“We had one heck of a practice here on Monday, where we were having fun and really moving out there, so hopefully they got the message,” he added.
The black-and-gold were in Duluth for a tournament Dec. 27-29, where they finished with a 1-2 mark after dropping a 5-2 decision to Rosemount in the fifth-place game.
“Duluth was a real eye-opener for us,” Jourdain admitted.
“We kind of had a deer-in-the-headlights look for our first game against Cloquet, but we were able to come out and play better for the rest of the tournament.
“We played a heck of a game in our second game against Buffalo, where we played good old-fashioned Canadian hockey and ended up beating a team by a score of 6-0 that we had no business in beating that badly,” he noted.
Then this past weekend, the Muskies travelled to Winnipeg for the annual Piper Classic, where they lost 5-1 to Edge Gold from Calgary in the quarter-finals.
The black-and-gold went 1-2 during the round-robin portion of the tournament, with their lone win being a 5-1 triumph over Dauphin.
“That was a tough one last weekend,” Jourdain sighed. “We regressed a little bit back to where we were at the start of the [season] and we didn’t have a very good tournament.
“I was happy with how we played in a couple of our games there, but not so much in our other two games,” he noted.
Still, Jourdain was pleased with the performance of starting goalie Scott Parsons over the weekend.
“Ever since the Duluth tournament, Scotty has really stepped his game for us and I hope to see him keep playing at that level for the rest of the season,” Jourdain said.
The Muskies will return to league play Friday night, when they’ll entertain the Kenora Broncos at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Both teams have played each other tough up to this point, with the Broncos being the only team to defeat the Muskies in league play—a 5-4 shootout win there back on Nov. 29.
“I expect to see us come out and put a full 60 minutes into this game, and that’s something we are going to be talking to the guys about all night long,” Jourdain stressed.
“We need to play a more disciplined game, too, as that is something we had a lot of problems with in the tournament in Winnipeg,” he added.
“In practice today [Monday], we told the guys that they can’t do anything about how the reffing goes and they need to focus on the task at hand, and hopefully they realize that.”
Following Friday’s game, the black-and-gold will welcome Baudette to town for an exhibition game next Tuesday (Jan. 17) at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Going into this weekend’s game, the Muskies will be without the services of Grade 10 forward Jack Hamilton, who is recovering from a shoulder injury.
“We’re planning to have him sit out of the game against Kenora here this weekend and then we will go from there,” Jourdain said at Monday’s practice.