Muskie boys on a real roll

The Muskie boys’ hockey team earned a 7-2 win against host Baudette last night—their first win against the Bears since 2001.
Despite the convincing victory, though, Muskie head coach Shane Bliss was furious afterwards.
“The reffing was a disgrace,” he fumed.
The black-and-gold served their fair share of “questionable” penalties throughout the game, which even had the Bears’ coaches scratching their heads at times.
“Two out of the three refs couldn’t even figure out what was going on,” Bliss remarked.
The Muskies overcame the penalties, however. In fact, Tyler Miller got the team on the board first with a short-handed effort at 13:13 of the first period.
Alex McQuarrie scoring at 17:57 of the second before Baudette managed to post one shortly thereafter to make it 2-1 after two.
Dan Chapman opened the third with a goal at 17:53, followed by a short-handed tally off the stick of Brock Benjamin.
Matt Redford hit the twine at 10:50 for a 5-1 lead. Tyson Romyn then tallied seconds before Baudette got one back to make it 6-2.
The final goal of the night went to Benjamin, who took a beautiful pass from Josh Sigurdson and netted yet another short-handed goal to cap the victory.
The black-and-gold were coming off a sweep at a 24-team tournament in Brandon, Man. last week, earning the title with a 9-0 rout over the top-ranked Souris Valley Vipers in the championship final.
Richard Wierenga earned the shutout in goal.
“We created a lot of problems for teams by having a very aggressive forecheck,” noted Bliss. “Teams were unable to get out of their zone and eventually we capitalized.”
Against the Vipers, the Muskies jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Miller scored at 11:53 of the first period. Brian White then made it 2-0 at 7:32.
Miller netted his second of the game with just 29 seconds left in the first to put the Muskies up by three heading to the second.
After Mitch Green scored early in the second, Kevin Bobczynski made it 5-0 less than a minute later. The rout was on when White and Green, his second of the period, tallied before the second intermission.
Brett Meyers and Riley Caul netted third-period goals to round out the scoring.
The Muskies had opened the tourney Thursday with a 6-1 win over Neepawa.
Neepawa actually scored at 8:59 of the first period, but Redford tied the game shortly afterwards—and it was all Muskies from then on.
Chapman netted the lone goal of the second period to give the black-and-gold a 2-1 lead.
Miller then scored early in the period before making a sleek pass to Ryan Witherspoon, who hit the twine to make it 4-1.
Green beat Neepawa goalie Brad Braun a few seconds later before Andrew Easton capped the scoring at 11:11 of the final period.
The Muskies next squared off against Russell and took the game 5-2.
Jake Esselink and Miller tallied first-period goals to give Fort High a 2-1 lead heading into the second.
Romyn and White made it 4-2 through two before Witherspoon added another insurance tally at 18:05 of the third to seal the victory.
Wieringa then earned the shutout as the Muskies blanked Westwood 5-0 in their third game of the tournament.
After a scoreless first period, Witherspoon and Bobczynski scored in the second period before Miller, Romyn, and Sigurdson tallied in the third to put the black-and-gold into the semi-finals against Crocus.
Neither team could score in the first period, but Scott McFayden and Miller put the Muskies up 2-0 in the second. Miller then netted his second of the game in the third to seal the 3-1 victory.
Overall, the team represented Fort Frances very well at the tournament.
“The boys were praised by the tournament committee, referees, scouts, and even the opponents for their play on the ice and their behaviour off the ice,” Bliss noted.

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