Muskie girls clip Eagles’ wings

Joey Payeur

Who says revenge is a dish best served cold?
Facing Dryden for the first time since the Eagles ended the Muskie girls’ hockey team’s 21-game NorWOSSA winning streak with a 3-2 victory on Dec. 3, the black-and-gold avenged that loss with a 1-0 win Sunday in the final of the K-Town Christmas Classic tournament in Kenora.
Rachel Jean had the lone goal midway through the third period while Kate Parsons blocked all 17 shots fired her way.
Jean took a pass from Amy Penner in the neutral zone and dashed into the Eagles’ zone before blasting a shot that eluded Dryden goalie Jacquie Grandmont.
“We’ve been telling the defence to pick up the puck in the neutral zone and get more activated in the play a lot more, especially if there’s a lane,” said Muskie head coach Scott Clendenning.
“I think for the most part, we had the upper hand,” he added.
“In the first period, Kaily Greengrass went down right off the opening face-off 10 seconds in, and there was a scrum in front and the puck ended up in the net, but they waved it off,” Clendenning noted.
The Muskies, who captured the Classic for the third-straight year, only allowed three goals in four games at the tournament—a testament to what Clendenning saw as a much more intense defence than in previous contests.
“That was really needed,” he stressed.
“It was good to see them finish their checks and not do fly-bys, and seeing them be hard on the puck,” he added.
Fort High opened the tournament with a 3-2 win over the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora) in a game nowhere near as close as what the score suggested.
“We outshot them 37-7 but we were a little off in our offensive game . . . and the puck seemed to be bouncing around a lot,” Clendenning said.
“The puck just wasn’t going our way but a win is a win, whether it’s 3-2 or 14-1,” he reasoned.
The Muskies actually trailed 2-1 after the first period, with Jessica Coran’s game-opening goal countered by markers from Shania White and Kiara Devins.
Greengrass tied the game in the second on a pass from Janelle Kaemingh, then won it with an unassisted tally early in the third.
Calie Clendenning got the win in net while Gilly Derouard took the loss.
Another low-scoring affair awaited the Muskies in their second game—a 3-0 victory over the Westwood Collegiate Warriors (Winnipeg).
After a scoreless first period, Penner lit the lamp midway through the second on an assist from Annalise Hayes.
Penner then returned the favour in the third by combining with Coran to set up Hayes to make it 2-0.
Emma Noga iced the win in the dying seconds, with Lauren Hamilton drawing an assist.
Parsons earning the shutout.
Then in the semi-finals against the host Kenora Broncos, Fort High got three goals in the first period and three more in the third en route to a 6-1 win.
Mallory Payne and Hayes set up Coran before Hayes converted a set-up from Penner and Coran.
Taylor Croswell then delivered a back-breaking goal, on another set-up from Penner, just 18.9 seconds before
intermission to put the Muskies up 3-0.
After a scoreless second, Kaemingh put home Claire Sandelovich’s feed before Hayes struck for her second goal of the game only 26 seconds later to stretch the lead to 5-0.
Hamilton then cashed in unassisted before Katie Mahon ended Calie Clendenning’s shutout bid with 4:44 to play.
The Muskies were coming off a 14-1 rout of the visiting Kenora Broncos in NorWOSSA play last Thursday night.
Hayes led the avalanche of offence with a nine-point night, including five goals.
Penner, meanwhile, was a play-making machine with five assists to go along with her solo goal.
Coran had a hat trick as part of a five-point night while Greengrass, Jenna Clendenning (her first goal in NorWOSSA play), Sandelovich, Noga, and Sam McKinnon added singles.
Parsons allowed only Jess Ricklefs’ late third-period goal to get the win.
Fort High took its 3-1 NorWOSSA record into action last night against the Sioux Lookout Warriors at the Ice For Kids Arena (the outcome was unavailable at press time).
With the Muskies’ annual alumni game not a go this year, their next action will be at the Schwan Cup tournament Jan. 1-3 in Blaine, Mn.
The squad’s next home game will be a Jan. 12 exhibition rematch against the International Falls Broncos, who Fort High beat 5-3 at Bronco Arena back on Dec. 2.