Muskie girls’ drop another tight one

Dan Falloon

Another day, another goal short for the Muskie girls’ hockey team.
The black-and-gold were bumped 2-1 by the International Falls Broncos here Tuesday night for their third-straight one-goal loss.
Fort High had fall 3-2 to the Broncos across the river on Friday and then 2-1 to the host Dryden Eagles on Saturday.
“We’ve been having trouble lately just putting the puck in the net,” said coach Mel Langtry. “It seems that’s the way the season’s going so far.
“We have to get some sort of secondary scoring, and we haven’t yet.
“We’re working on it in practice, and things are coming together, but we still need to put the puck in the net,” he stressed.
The Muskies carried the play for much of the first period Tuesday, but it was the visitors who left the ice with the frame’s only marker.
With Muskie defender Courtney Easton off for body-checking, Bronco forward Amy Auran cruised down the left-wing after taking a feed from Sydney Gordon.
Auran then wristed a shot that just missed Melissa Payne’s blocker to open the scoring.
The deficit seemed to fire up the Muskies as Carlee Bosma and Jessica Taggart both had good chances to jam pucks home while in close.
Erika Anderson’s point shot also was gobbled up by Bronco goalie Taylar Nelson.
The second stanza was peppered with scoring chances for both sides, but it was the Broncos in charge in the early-going.
The Falls’ top line of Gordon, Auran, and Mackenzie Raboin was a thorn in the Muskies’ side all night—creating opportunities for much of the time they were on the ice.
Payne had to be sharp just over a minute into the period as Raboin and Gordon combined on a give-and-go. But she was able to slide over to smother Raboin’s shot.
However, the line wouldn’t be denied on its next big rush. Gordon snapped a shot 3:47 in that Payne couldn’t quite get enough of to make it 2-0.
Payne was forced not to dwell on the near-miss, though, as the Muskie goalie immediately denied Jessica Ringhofer, who swooped past the defence to get a shot off.
Payne then gloved Sydney Raboin’s rebound while on her stomach to keep the black-and-gold within two.
The Muskies rewarded their goalie for her hard work with 5:06 left in the second as Danielle Jean tipped Anderson’s point shot past Nelson for her 11th goal of the season.
Ericka Tymkin drew the other assist on the play.
Since the Muskies were holding their annual “Teddy Bear Toss,” fans threw plush toys onto the ice after Jean’s tally, which were collected to be donated to the local Salvation Army.
But that was the only goal the Broncos would concede.
Fort High pushed for the equalizer in the third, headlined by a Jillian Langtry rush where the speedy forward sliced through the Bronco defence—letting loose a shot and then stabbing at the rebound before Nelson covered up.
The Muskies nearly tied the game in the waning seconds as Shae-Lynn Smith and Courtney Bethune crashed the net—eventually knocking the puck in with just 3.9 seconds on the clock.
Unfortunately for the snake-bitten squad, the play had been whistled dead by the time the puck crossed the line.
The Muskies couldn’t do anything with the ensuing offensive zone face-off and the Broncos hung on for the win.
The black-and-gold now travel to Portage la Prairie, Man. for a weekend tournament this weekend, with their next NorWOSSA action coming Friday, Dec. 18 against Red Lake at the ’52 Canadians Arena.