Coach Shawn Jourdain felt the Muskie boys’ hockey team played well enough to be in the final of the Genesis Hospitality High School hockey tournament in Brandon, Man. over the weekend.
However, the team was just a goal short as they fell 7-6 to the Winnipeg powerhouse Oak Park Raiders in their first playoff round game.
“We played well enough to win it,” noted Jourdain. “We just ran into penalty trouble midway through that Oak Park game.
“They got two quick ones, but overall I thought we should have been in the final,” he added.
In all, the black-and-gold finished with a 4-1 record on the weekend, culminating with a 5-1 win over Neepawa in the ‘A’-side consolation final on goals by Nick Kaun, Nik Jourdain, Chris Bobczynski, Brett McMahon, and game MVP Tyler Mosbeck.
Muskie goalies Devin Stromness and Scott Parsons both split time over the weekend, and Jourdain was pleased with how they performed.
Meanwhile, Jourdain was thrilled to see a number of different players hit the scoresheet over the weekend, with a quartet of newcomers providing the jump-start.
“When you can have all four lines scoring like that, it sure helps out,” he reasoned.
“Between [Jeff] Gustafson, [Ryan] Lundy, and Brady McMahon, they all played really well this weekend.
“That line just keeps working hard,” Jourdain noted. “They’ve been leading the way and the rest of the guys have been following.
“Tyler Mosbeck played a lot in the final game and got his first goal, so we were all really happy for him there,” Jourdain continued.
“All in all, it’s nice having four lines that you can just throw out there at any given time.”
As well, getting a crack at the second-ranked Raiders was a fine measuring stick for the Muskies, who didn’t quite measure up in their first major challenge of the season the week before—a 6-2 loss to the East Ridge Raiders (Woodbury, Mn.) at a tournament in Detroit Lakes.
“Oak Park was a good test for us,” said Jourdain. “It’s the same kind of team that we ran into last weekend in Detroit Lakes, but we played a lot better.”
Jourdain recalled the Muskies began well, but the Raiders forced their way back into the game by taking advantage of Fort High’s errors.
“We seem to get off to good starts,” he noted. “We got up on them, and then once the game settled in, it’s just the tiny, little mistakes.
“We keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
“It’s more or less just along our blueline,” he added. “We’ve got to make sure we get that puck out and bear down and be stronger physically and mentally to get that puck out of out zone.
The Muskies later beat Dauphin 7-4 to advance to the consolation final.
Tarryn Romyn scored twice in that one, with Brett McMahon, Brady McMahon, Jourdain, Jeff Davis, and Jeff Gustafson adding singles.
Braedon Keast was named player of the game.
Fort High had opened the tournament with an 8-2 romp over Morden on Thursday night.
Tyson McLean led the way with two goals while Nolan Ross, Brendan Cawston, Nick Kaun. Jeff Gustafson, Davis Ross, and game MVP Colton Spicer also scored.
The Muskies then completed round-robin play Friday by dismantling Sturgeon Heights 6-1.
Gustafson (the game MVP) and Robbie Rea each scored twice in that one while Jourdain and Tyson McLean had one apiece.
The good vibrations from the weekend tournament came right in time for the black-and-gold’s NorWOSSA home-opener last night (Dec. 7) when they hosted Dryden (the score was unavailable as of press time).
The Muskies will continue their homestand against Kenora this Friday (Dec. 10) at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Jourdain said his players were pumped to get going on home ice, but also stressed the importance of hitting the road to become a true team.
“It’s nice. You get together with the boys and they get to bond, and become more of a family,” he explained.
“That’s what they’ve done over the last few tournaments and hopefully we can keep things going.”