Anytime the Muskies and International Falls Broncos square off, it’s bound to be a classic.
That rang true once again Tuesday night as Reece McQuaker scored the overtime winner with just 36 seconds left to lift the Muskie girls’ hockey team to a thrilling 2-1 win in over the visiting Broncos in the opener of their annual two-game “Border Battle” exhibition series.
Makenna Henttonen opened the scoring for the black-and-gold with 6:29 to go in the first period when she fired a shot that beat Broncos’ goalie Grace Wegner five-hole.
Maria Vollom had a great chance to net the equalizer early in the second on a partial breakaway but she was denied on a stellar pad save by Muskie goalie Isabella Fortes.
The Broncos kept pressing, however, and finally knotted it 1-1 at 10:27 when Olivia Wright capitalized on a failed clearing attempt and fired a shot under the arm of Fortes.
Issy Taylor nearly gave the Muskies the lead on a short-handed breakaway opportunity in the third but just sailed her backhander high and wide of the Broncos’ net.
Despite a great late push, the Muskies couldn’t bury the winner and the game headed to overtime.
Both sides had great chances on odd-man rushes early on in the extra frame but couldn’t find a way to score.
Then with time winding down, Tatum Glowasky burst in alone on the Broncos’ goal after Alex Gartzke had chipped the puck off the boards to her.
She made a few dekes but just couldn’t tuck one around Wegner.
Fortunately, McQuaker had followed the play up and jammed in the loose puck to send the Ice For Kids Arena crowd into a frenzy.
Fortes finished with 12 saves to earn the win while Wegner stopped 27 shots in taking the loss.
The Muskies next will be in action tomorrow and Saturday when they head to Portage la Prairie, Man. for the PCI tournament.
Then they’ll resume NorWOSSA play next Thursday (Dec. 6) when they head to Dryden to face the Eagles.
As for the Muskie boys’ squad, meanwhile, resumes NorWOSSA action tonight against the host Kenora Broncos.
Then they’ll host the Dryden Eagles on Sunday at 4:15 p.m. before welcoming the Baudette Bears in exhibition action on Tuesday (Dec. 4) at 7:15 p.m.
Both those games will be at the Ice For Kids Arena.