Muskie girls rally for tie in ‘Border Battle’

Jamie Mountain

When it comes to the annual “Border Battle” exhibition series between the Muskie girls’ hockey team and their International Falls Broncos’ counterparts, you’re generally in for good games.
That was the case again Saturday as the black-and-gold rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period to forge a 5-5 tie at Bronco Arena in the Falls.
Captain Annalise (C.C.) Hayes netted a hat trick to pace the Muskies’ attack.
“It was an entertaining game,” said Muskie head coach Todd Hamilton, noting it was “Senior Night” for the graduating Bronco players.
“[Kamryn] Sandelovich was injured early in the first [period] and Carly McKinnon replaced her and was fantastic in net,” he noted.
“The first shot on goal after sitting cold on bench was against Broncos’ leading scorer, point-blank in [the] slot, and Carly turned it away.”
The Broncos did jump out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period on a pair of goals by Marissa Kerry.
Siobhan Mackintosh gave the Muskies some life at 12:06 when she connected to trim it to 2-1.
Hayes then netted her first of the game at 13:53 of the second to even it at 2-2.
The Broncos regained their two-goal lead in the third, getting a markers from Emma Erickson just 36 seconds in before Amber Tilander made it 4-2 at 4:24.
Hayes then made it a one-goal game with an unassisted marker at 11:04 but Tilander responded a few minutes later to push it to 5-3.
Hayes completed her hat trick to bring the Muskies back within a goal before Jillan Calder tied the score at 16:39.
After overtime solved nothing, the game ended as a tie.
The black-and-gold came into the game on the heels of a 4-1 loss to the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora) on Thursday night at the Ice For Kids Arena, which dropped their NorWOSSA record to 11-1-1.
Ally Turcotte, Rebecca Machura, Brynn Rawn, and Abby Dent tallied for the Saints while Hayes netted the lone Muskie goal in the third period.
Sarah From earned the win, with Sandelovich being tagged with the loss.
“St. Thomas came out with energy and speed and overwhelmed us, and we could not get back in the game,” Hamilton conceded.
“They played with speed and purpose; we played lazy and disengaged.
“I can’t identify any of our strengths in the St. Thomas game,” he added. “We were just plain bad and [they] came to play, and gave us a good old-fashioned butt-kicking.”
Hamilton also said he thought the Saints had more fans in the stands than the host Muskies did.
The black-and-gold resume NorWOSSA action tomorrow (Feb. 8) when they visit the Kenora Broncos.
Hamilton believes maintaining passion in the upcoming games will be key for the squad to have success heading into the league playoffs.
“The key is to start the games with pace and passion, and play the entire game in this manner,” he stressed.
The Muskies will conclude their regular season with a game this Sunday against the host Sioux Lookout Warriors, which is a make-up game for a Jan. 30 contest postponed due to inclement weather, then visit the Saints the following day in Kenora.