It’s not often a team wins by six goals and is criticized for stretches of poor play.
But that’s life for the Muskie boys’ hockey team, for which the bar of expectations is higher due to their tradition of success.
The Muskies (5-1) whipped the Red Lake Rams (0-5-0-1) on consecutive days last weekend at the ’52 Canadians Arena, but their performance in a 9-1 win Saturday afternoon was considered a far cry better than their 7-1 triumph the previous day.
“We didn’t play that great on Friday,” said Muskie assistant coach Brad Gushulak, who handled duties behind the bench for the weekend series in the absence of head coach Shawn Jourdain.
“We came out all right, but then we got into some bad habits,” he noted.
“They definitely outplayed us in the third period,” Gushulak added. “We were giving up 2-on-1s and 3-on-2s.”
The story was much different the following afternoon, however, as the Muskies took over top spot in NorWOSSA—one point ahead of the Kenora Broncos (4-3-0-1) and two up on the Dryden Eagles (4-3).
“We played a full 60 minutes in the second game,” said Gushulak.
“The third period got a little chippy, but our guys did a good job of steering clear of that garbage,” he added.
Game summaries for both games were unavailable as of press time. But it is known Scott Parsons got the win in goal Friday while Devin Stromness was solid between the pipes in Saturday’s victory.
Coming off an exhibition loss to the International Falls Broncos in their previous game Jan. 4, Gushulak was concerned how that result, combined with a 10-day layoff from competition, would affect his squad.
“As it turned out, everyone played pretty good all weekend,” he remarked. “All four lines contributed and it was good to get back on track.”
The Muskies had just one player missing from the lineup against Red Lake. Centre Ryan Lundy was held out of action after reaggravating a collarbone injury in practice.
But Gushulak said Lundy was expected to be in the lineup for last night’s NorWOSSA showdown here with Dryden (the score was not known by press time).
Fort High then heads to Red Lake Falls, Mn. for its next game this Saturday (Jan. 22), an exhibition match against the Lafayette Eagles.
The Muskies return to NorWOSSA action Tuesday, Feb. 1 when they head to Dryden to take on the Eagles.