Muskie girls split first two games

It’s not often a person changes their own name.
It’s likely even less often that someone changes your name for you, especially during a hockey game, when your attention is focused solely on flying pucks and hurtling bodies.
Such was the case last Friday night as Sarah Trendiak started in goal for the Muskie girls’ hockey team. Some 77 minutes of inspired hockey later, she emerged to a loud ovation by the partisan Muskie fans in the lobby of the Memorial Sports Centre.
In what was a performance for the ages, the 16-year-old Trendiak blocked, batted, swatted, and kicked out all but one of about 50 shots fired her way to help the host Muskies edge the Kenora Broncos 3-2 in sudden-death overtime in the opener of the best-of-three NorWOSSA final.
Thus a victory—and a new nickname that pays tribute to the great Russian goalie Vladislav Tretiak, who gained fame during the 1972 Canada-Russia “Summit Series.”
Trendiak was not alone in providing yeoman efforts as the entire Muskie squad stepped up to play one of their finest games ever. The pace rarely slowed as both squads played hard and fast through 20 minutes of scoreless hockey.
The Broncos got on the board first at the 12:53 mark of the second period as Lindsey Agnew carried the puck down the left side into the Muskie zone before whipping a pass across to Nicole Riediger, who snapped a low shot, glove side, as Trendiak slid over in vain.
That lead held up until 2:14 left in the second period as Nina Bird, standing some 15 feet to the left of Kenora goalie Amanda Kowalik, fired a high, hard wrist shot that fooled the veteran and tied the game at 1-1.
In what looked like a possible “next goal wins” scenario, the Muskies came out flying in the third as Carlee Bosma grabbed the puck at her own blueline and raced in on a breakaway.
The Grade 10 forward cut to the middle, made a nifty deke, and deposited the Muskies’ second goal passed the outstretched glove of Kowalik just 1:19 into the period.
For the longest time, no further scoring ensued. And the longer the period went on, the more the tension built as Kenora pressed for the equalizer and Fort High battled to maintain the lead.
With 1:41 left, the Muskies were penalized and Kowalik was pulled in favour of an extra attacker shortly thereafter. Playing 6-on-4, the Broncos controlled the puck deep in the Muskie zone, and with just 37 seconds left in the game, Kelsey Craven found Riediger open on the left side.
The veteran winger fired a bullet over the glove of Trendiak to tie the score at 2-2 and send the game into overtime.
Despite fatigue, the two teams ran wide open in overtime, with many scoring chances. Lauren Krukoski was denied at 14:34, then Lauren Pierce intercepted a defensive zone face-off and went coast to coast—only to stopped by Kowalik.
At the other end, Agnew took a feed from Riediger but was stoned by Trendiak. Then Craven broke free, but once again Trendiak read her like a book and made the save.
The dramatic conclusion finally was written by Bird. The fourth-year winger knocked down a Bronco clearing pass (with just 3:48 left in overtime) and unleashed a wicked wrist shot that sailed over the shoulder of a surprised Kowalik.
< *c>Broncos rebound
With the opening 3-2 win firmly in hand, the Muskies made the trek up to Kenora on Sunday afternoon hoping to close out the Broncos.
But that was not to be as some strange bounces put the visitors in a 2-0 hole just six minutes into the first period.
Craven put the Broncos up by one early as Riediger picked up a crazy carom off the end boards and fired a quick shot at a surprised Trendiak. “Trendy” made the stop, but Craven gathered up the rebound and lifted it in for a 1-0 lead at 15:27.
Just two minutes later, with plenty of commotion in the Muskie zone, and with Trendiak minus both her blocker and goalie stick, Linnea Vaudry banked a quick shot from the corner off of Trendiak’s skate and in for the two-goal lead.
Not to be denied, Bird struck for her third goal of the weekend with 4:02 left in the first period. Lauren Krukoski controlled an offensive zone draw and dished the puck to Miranda Kellar, who spotted Bird out front.
Bird took the pass and put a wrist shot top shelf (blocker side) to finish the period at 2-1.
Despite a raucous pro-Bronco crowd, the Muskies made the most noise early in the second period, dominating all over the ice.
Defenders Barker and Pierce both created chances with big blasts from the point, and the tandem of Erin Kaemingh and Haven Labbe stymied Kenora rushes repeatedly—creating opportunities for the forward units.
The tide turned for the Broncos midway through the second when Agnew was awarded a penalty shot.
Trendiak made a sparkling save but scant seconds later, Reagan Smith bolted down the right side, cut to the net, and snapped a hard wrist shot high over Trendiak’s glove for a 3-1 lead.
The Bronco surge continued as Julie Cain wired a seeing-eye wrist shot from 25 feet out that sailed over Trendy’s shoulder to give the Broncos a 4-1 lead after two periods.
The fired up Broncos looked to bury the Muskies early in the third, but staunch defence and some critical saves kept Fort High in the game. Then Krukoski narrowed the gap to 4-2 as she and Bird flew down the ice on a two-on-one.
Krukoski took a feed from Bird and blasted a shot through Kowalik’s five hole to tighten the score.
But that was as close as the Muskies would get as a late power-play goal by Smith gave the Broncos a 5-2 win—and forced last night’s rubber match in Fort Frances.