A promising pre-season didn’t translate into a positive beginning to the new NorWOSSA season for the Muskie girls’ hockey team.
The black-and-gold absorbed identical 6-3 losses on the weekend—first on the road Friday night in Kenora and then Saturday night at the Ice for Kids Arena in their home-opener against the defending league champion Dryden Eagles.
“We’re in there with these teams,” said Fort High coach Mel Langtry.
“We’re a step or two behind right now, though,” he admitted.
Kenora jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Danielle Jean put the Muskies on the board for the first time in the regular season.
The teams traded a pair of goals to make it 4-3 after two, with Jillian Langtry netting both Muskie markers—the second one shorthanded with 15 seconds before intermission.
But Fort High could draw no closer as Kenora parked two more tallies behind goalie Melissa Payne (24 saves).
The Muskies outshot the Broncos 43-30.
On Saturday night, the Muskies held a special pre-game ceremony for longtime super fan Cam Smith, who passed away in August.
The tribute seemed to spur on the black-and-gold, who bolted out to a 2-0 advantage as Anikka McTavish and Ericka Tymkin each notched their first goals of the season before the game was eight minutes old.
But Dryden strung together four-consecutive goals—one late in the first and three more in the second—to lead 4-2 heading to the third.
Taylor Dixon tallied her first of the campaign less than three
minutes into the third, but the Eagles struck again at the eight-minute mark on the power play to restore their two-goal edge.
The Muskies missed a great opportunity to cut the lead again as Langtry was unable to make good on a penalty shot two minutes later after a Dryden defender was whistled for covering the puck with her hand.
That put all the momentum in Dryden’s hands, and the Eagles made the most of it with another power-play marker a minute later.
Dryden outshot Fort Frances 46-31, with Dana Cridland making 40 stops in a losing cause.
The Muskies return to action tomorrow (Nov. 17) at 7:30 p.m. at the ’52 Canadians Arena versus the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora), who are new additions to the NorWOSSA circuit this season.