Muskie girls’ offence explodes vs. Saints

Lucas Punkari

After being blanked 4-0 by the host Kenora Broncos last Tuesday, the Muskie girls’ hockey team went into their game against the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints two nights later looking to get their offence rolling.
With a four-goal outburst in the opening period alone, it’s safe to say the host Saints had no idea what hit them as the black-and-gold cruised to a 6-1 victory.
“The girls just came out on fire and that was great to see,” enthused Muskie head coach Scott Clendenning.
“Against the Saints, we had a lot more traffic in front of their goalie and we were also able to pick up some really good rebounds that led to the goals,” he noted.
“All in all, it was a really big confidence-booster for the girls.”
Taylor Dixon led the way with a hat trick while Hailey Clendenning, Ericka Tymkin, and Katie Sinclair added singles.
The offensive explosion came 48 hours after the squad had trouble finding the back of the net against the Broncos as Kenora goalie Aryn Puls proved to be unsolvable.
“We had 30 shots on goal in that game against Kenora, but we just couldn’t seem to get a goal, which was pretty frustrating,” Clendenning recalled.
“We were lacking a little bit of that grit in the game, as well,” he admitted.
“But against the Saints, we had great puck movement and we were winning those battles out there, and the girls were rewarded with a really good win.”
With Thursday’s win over the Saints, the Muskies improved their NorWOSSA record to 3-5.
Due to exams, they now have a break from league action until Feb. 3, when they’ll host the Dryden Eagles.
“What I see with the girls from the start of the season to now is a 100 percent change in the way they are playing,” Clendenning noted.
“It’s been great to see them taking the things they have been working on day in and day out in practice and then transferring that into the games.
“And once they hit the ice, they have been doing all of the little things right.
“With the way things are going right now, it should be a really nice run into the playoffs,” Clendenning added.
Prior to hosting Dryden, the squad will take part in a tournament Jan. 26-28 in Pembina.
“Leading up to that tournament, we are going to be focused on working on our high-tempo game plan,” Clendenning said.
“We’ll be doing a lot of drills in moving the puck and moving our feet in order to get ready for that.”
The Muskies then will have their second meeting of the season with the International Falls Broncos on Jan. 31—this time at Bronco Arena.
The Broncos blanked Fort High 2-0 in their first clash back on Dec. 6 at the Ice For Kids Arena.