Muskie girls lose in final of own tourney

Sporting a lineup featuring 14 players in Grade 9 and 10, a young Muskie girls’ hockey team hosted the program’s first-ever invitational hockey tournament over the weekend.
But after netting 20 goals in four games, it’s apparent a youthful roster won’t be a detriment to a successful start to the season.
The Muskies opened the four-team tournament Friday night against the perennial powerhouse Kenora Broncos.
The Broncos dominated NorWOSSA play last season, but needed two goals in the final 1:07 of the third period to secure a 5-3 win over the black-and-gold.
Joelle Charlebois opened the scoring for Kenora early in the first period, but forward Cortney Caldwell tied the score with 8:14 left before intermission, with assists to Hannah Firth and Deanna Saunders.
Jen Meisner then put Kenora up 2-1 midway through the second before Sarah O’Sullivan set up Carly Holt to knot the score at 2-2.
Charlebois notched her second of the game late in the period to make it 3-2 heading into the third.
Holt—set up beautifully by Firth and Caldwell—tied the score at 3-3 with 10:41 to play in regulation time. But Anna Percy, from the point, and Lindsay Agnew, into an empty net, clinched a 5-3 Bronco win.
The Muskies hit the ice again Saturday afternoon to face the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora).
After a slow start, Fort High got rolling with Miranda Kellar notching her first of four goals on the weekend—a blast just underneath the crossbar assisted by Taylor Meyers and Sarah O’Sullivan.
A dozen minutes later, Firth (from Holt and Nicki Mosbeck) staked the Muskies to a 2-0 lead after the first period.
Kellar struck again in the second (unassisted) to make it 3-0 after two.
The Saints connected early in the third as Danielle Adams (Sam Reynard) closed the gap to 3-1, but the red hot line of Sarah O’Sullivan, Kellar, and Meyers tallied twice more (with Meyers scoring both) to make the final score 5-1.
The black-and-gold then came out flying Saturday night and kept the statisticians busy all game en route to a 10-0 pasting of the Sioux Lookout Warriors.
Deanna Saunders opened the flood gates at 12:53, from Nina Bird and Firth, followed just 15 seconds later by Kellar (assisted by Meyers).
Meyers, from Sarah O’Sullivan and Kellar, made it 3-0 midway through the first, then it was Meyers again set up by S. O’Sullivan to see the Muskies lead 4-0 at the break.
The onslaught continued in the second period, with Kellar scoring unassisted at 18:55, followed by Meyers (from Lauren Pierce) at 18:14 to make it 6-0 heading to the third.
The home squad continued full throttle in the final stanza with goals from Holt (from Firth), Sarah O’Sullivan (two), and Meyers (who assisted on O’Sullivan’s first goal) to close out the scoring.
The victory put the Muskies at 2-1 in pool play, setting the stage for a rematch with the 3-0 Broncos in the gold-medal game Sunday afternoon.
Alas, the Muskies’ scoring binge would come to a close as Sarah O’Sullivan (from sister, Danielle, and Carly Holt) in the first and Lauren Krukoski (from Kailey Curtis) in the late stages of the second period was all the offence the team could muster in a 5-2 loss.
In the bronze-medal game earlier Sunday, Sioux Lookout (1-2) posted a second-straight victory over St. Thomas Aquinas (0-3) to take home third place.
The Muskie goaltending tandem of Katie Stearns (Grade 9) and Sarah Hoskins (Grade 10), allowed just 11 goals in four games over the weekend, and looked confident in all situations.
Bird, who spent much of last season recovering from a knee injury, logged a lot of ice time on defence and showed good mobility in all games.
Meanwhile, newcomer Taylor Meyers combined with second-year player Miranda Kellar and veteran centre Sarah O’Sullivan to post 23 points as a line.
Finally, fifth-year defenceman Danielle O’Sullivan elevated her game, playing in even strength, power play, and penalty-killing situations while captaining the team.
The Muskies return to the ice this weekend for an eight-team invitational tournament in Winnipeg.
Fort High faces Winnipeg teams on Friday night and Saturday afternoon before renewing their rivalry with Kenora that night.
The semi-finals and finals go Sunday afternoon, with all games being played at the Allard Arena, just off Portage Avenue, in the city’s west end.