Muskie boys looking to put tough weekend into rearview mirror

Jamie Mountain

Sometimes the best thing to do is just move one.
After the weekend they had, that’s probably the best course of action for the Muskie boys’ hockey team.
The black-and-gold went 1-0-1 in Pool ‘B’ play before losing both playoff games in the Boston Pizza Division at the annual Piper Classic Tournament of Champions in Winnipeg held Friday through Sunday.
“I’ll just say it was really a tough weekend for us,” said Muskie head coach Jordan Sinclair.
“We didn’t have much going our way,” he noted. “We suffered a tough loss Friday night in overtime which bumped us to the ‘B’ side.
“From there, things just seemed to get worse and I’m not really sure what the reason for it was.”
The Muskies, who currently sport a 6-2 record in NorWOSSA play, will look to get back on track as quick as possible this week.
They resume league action tomorrow night against the host Dryden Eagles before capping the week with back-to-back home games versus the Red Lake Rams on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and again Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Both games will be played at “The Duke” (Couchiching Arena).
“We will have to get back at it, regroup and refocus, and get ourselves prepared for a big week and final stretch here in the regular season,” Sinclair stressed.
As for the tournament in Winnipeg, Fort High opened play Friday morning with a 10-1 rout of the host John Taylor Pipers.
Mikel Ward (two), Nick Gurski (two), Jake Barker, Carson Noga, Nolan Mann (two), and Peyton Avis all scored to pace the onslaught.
Jaden Cooper earned the win between the pipes.
But the black-and-gold faced a much stiffer test that night in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Oak Park Raiders.
Connor Nelson and Mann tallied in a losing cause while Darian Klem took the loss in goal.
The Muskies then dropped their first playoff game Saturday afternoon by a 5-0 score to the Sioux Lookout Warriors.
Klem suffered the loss in that one.
Fort High then ended tourney play that evening with a 5-3 loss to the Shaftesbury Titans.
Brady Bodnarchuk, Matt Spence, and Mann all tallied while Cooper suffered the loss in goal.
“We have really got to focus on our compete level, which we know has got to go way up if we are going to give ourselves a chance,” Sinclair said.
“That, as well as consistently doing it every night,” he added.
“If we can get that, we will have success.”
The Muskies went into the weekend fresh off a 7-3 win over the host Red Lake Rams last Tuesday, getting goals from seven different skaters in the convincing victory.
Ashton Cousineau opened the scoring with 5:58 to go in the first period before Gurski doubled the lead just before intermission.
Mann then made it 3-0 when he buried a feed from Jace Jackson 1:10 into the second.
Kai Parrish got the Rams on the board at 5:15 but Nelson ripped a shot off the crossbar and in later in the frame to restore the Muskies’ three-goal cushion.
Ryan Redford then connected on a feed from Jace Dittaro with 5:36 to go before Bodnarchuk struck with a short-handed marker to make it 6-1 just over a minute later.
The Rams struck back with back-to-back goals early in the third to trim it to 6-3 but Barker capped the scoring with a goal just before the buzzer sounded.
Cooper earned the win between the pipes.