Making friends in “Friendly Manitoba” isn’t high on the priority list of the Muskie girls’ hockey team this weekend.
But winning a gold medal most certainly is.
The Muskies will test their mettle against some western opposition this weekend when they travel to Altona and Gretna, Man. for a two-day tournament.
Fort High faced the Pembina Valley Tigers in its opener today at 1 p.m. in Altona in a rematch of the gold-medal game at the Muskies’ pre-season home tournament back on Oct. 25, which the Tigers won 3-1.
The black-and-gold then will challenge the Morden Thunder in Altona before wrapping up the preliminary round against the Mennonite Collegiate Institute Blues in Gretna tomorrow at 10 a.m.
The tourney final goes later tomorrow.
The Muskies enter the weekend feeling much better about themselves after nabbing their first NorWOSSA win of the season—a 4-1 defeat of the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora) on Tuesday night at the ’52 Canadians Arena.
Muskie coach Mel Langtry, unimpressed with his squad’s effort in a pair of weekend losses to the Kenora Broncos and Dryden Eagles to open the NorWOSSA campaign, sent a clear message to his players at Monday’s practice.
There was scarcely a puck to be found anywhere during the hour-long session, but plenty of sweat and aching legs as Langtry put the players through a classic “bag skate”—meaning tons of skating sprints and not much else.
“We’re a young team but everyone should still be able to put in 100 percent,” Langtry stressed.
“I think we got their attention.”
A little more than 24 hours later, Fort High (1-2) brought a renewed sense of determination to the rink against the Saints, a NorWOSSA newcomer this season that didn’t look intimidated in the first period when Melissa White scored the game’s first goal at 15:45.
Jillian Langtry turned the game around in the second with an end-to-end effort at 3:48 for her team-leading third of the season.
“We needed to score right there to get things rolling,” said Coach Langtry, who watched Shae-lynn Smith make it 3-1 off a scramble in front of Saints’ goalie Debra Kakeway at 13:27.
In the third, Taylor Dixon made good on a highlight-reel, three-way passing play involving Jessie Baker and Smith, with Dixon beating Kakeway to the glove side at 12:35 for her second of the campaign.
Smith added an empty-net goal with one second left to cap a four-point outing.
Fort High outshot the Saints 47-22, with Melissa Payne making 21 stops to grab the win.
Kakeway turned aside 43 shots in taking the loss.