Alex Gartzke netted a hat trick to pace the Muskie girls’ hockey team to a 6-4 win over the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints in Kenora yesterday afternoon in the third-and-deciding game of the NorWOSSA semi-final series.
The third-ranked Muskies now advance to the best-of-three NorWOSSA final against the top-ranked Dryden Eagles.
Game 1 is set for tomorrow in Dryden, with Game 2 to be played here on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Game 3 (if necessary) will be back in Dryden on Saturday.
Yesterday’s game didn’t start off well for the Muskies as Ally Turcotte opened the scoring 11:21 into the first period.
Seanna Derouard then doubled the lead just over a minute later when she beat Muskie goalie Jersey Masson five-hole.
But Gartzke put the Muskies on the board on a two-man advantage with 7:05 to go in the frame before Issy Taylor tied it less than a minute later with another power-play marker.
Tatum Glowasky then fired home the rebound of Emily Kaun’s shot with 2:38 left to put the Muskies up 3-2 after 20 minutes.
Gartzke fired home her second of the afternoon 5:14 into the second to stake the black-and-gold to a two-goal cushion.
Martina Woods then tallied with 11:16 to go in the frame to make it 5-2.
But the Saints made a valiant comeback attempt from there.
Chloe Skead buried a feed from Abbie Favreau and Jessica Pitura 17 seconds later to trim it to 5-3 after 40 minutes.
Natalie Reynard then tipped home a shot on a man advantage to bring the hosts within a goal with 11:20 to go in the third.
But Gartzke finished off her hat trick with an empty-netter with five seconds left to cap the scoring
Masson earned the win while Faith Reid was tagged with the loss.
The Muskies had gone into the third-and-deciding game fresh off a 2-1 loss to the Saints in Game 2 on Thursday night at the Ice For Kids Arena here.
The visitors opened the scoring 13 minutes into the first period when Reynard pounced on a turnover near the Muskies’ blueline before skating in and firing a shot past Masson.
Montana Neil then doubled the lead with 2:34 to go in the second on a man advantage when she unleashed a cannon of a shot from the point off a feed from Skead that beat Masson upstairs to push it to 2-0 after 40 minutes.
Ashlyn Beck finally got the Muskies on the board with 11:03 to go in the third when she redirected Kaun’s shot the eluded Saints’ goalie Sarah From to trim it to 2-1.
But despite a late push from the black-and-gold, From stood tall from there to preserve the win.