After playing a 7-6 barnburner back on Dec. 7 over in International Falls, those on hand at the Ice For Kids Arena here Tuesday night may have expected a similar contest between the Muskie girls’ hockey team and the Broncos.
Instead, it was more of a defensive battle in the finale of the annual home-and-home exhibition series, with the Broncos coming out on top 2-1.
“This time I thought both teams bared down fairly well,” noted Muskie head coach Mel Langtry.
“I thought that we played pretty well for the most part, but I wanted to see us get some more shots on goal,” Langtry added.
The win also meant the Broncos swept the season series between the border rivals for the second-straight year.
“There was a big difference over here than in the game we played over there because I don’t think either team was very disciplined the first time,” admitted Broncos’ head coach Gerald Bolstad.
“I think because this game was later in the season, everybody’s got a lot of those issues shored up now and it was different game in that respect,” he reasoned.
“They’re well-coached and I think that they had a lot do with us not getting a lot of shots on goal, and vice-versa,” Bolstad added.
After the Muskies came out of the first period unrewarded for their offensive efforts, including captain Jillian Langtry and Sydney Jones each ringing shots off the crossbar, it was the Broncos who came out firing during the second period before finding the back of the net twice in the dying stages.
With just under two minutes to go in the frame, Mackenzie Raboin took a shot from the high slot that bounced off a Muskie defender and snuck into the bottom right corner of the net to give the Broncos a 1-0 lead.
The Falls would then extend their lead just over a minute later when Michele McDonald went on an end-to-end rush before sniping a wrist shot past Muskie goalie Dana Cridland.
“She [McDonald] played well tonight and it was a heck of a shot that she made,” Bolstad lauded.
“I think that the goalie might have been screened there because she didn’t really seem to react to the puck at all,” he noted.
Taylor Dixon brought the Muskies within a goal early in the third period.
Then despite pulling their goalie for an extra attacker with just over a minute left in regulation time, Fort High were unable to get any substantial chances on goal to send the game to overtime.
“Those couple of minutes in the second, where they got those two goals, just killed us,” said Langtry.
“We battled back not too bad, I guess, but I thought we tried to get a little too fancy at some points,” he added.
“We just needed to get more shots on net because that’s the way you score goals.”
The Muskie girls now will prepare for a pair of games this weekend. They host Sioux Lookout tomorrow at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena before heading on the road to face Red Lake on Saturday at 1 p.m.
“We hope to have two more girls [Danielle Jean and Shelby Tymkin] back into the lineup for Friday, which would give us a full roster for the first time this year, so that would be nice,” Langtry remarked.
“They [Sioux Lookout] aren’t a big powerhouse by any means, so maybe that’s the type of team we need to face right now to get our offence going,” he reasoned.
In other news, the Muskie boys’ hockey team rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the host Dryden Eagles 5-4 in a shootout Tuesday night.
After trailing 4-1 late in the second period, the black-and-gold came all the way back to force overtime and eventually a shootout.
Colton Spicer ended up netting the game-winner.
The squad next will visit Red Lake for a pair of games tomorrow and Saturday.