Muskies face crucial series with Warriors

The Muskie boys’ hockey team, the defending all-Ontario ‘A/AA’ champs, have their backs against the wall this weekend.
The last-place Muskies will host the fourth-place Sioux Lookout Warriors on Friday at 7:30 and again Saturday at 1 p.m. with the fourth-and-final NorWOSSA playoff spot on the line.
The Warriors (2-9-1) are one point up on the Muskies (1-7-2).
Although it’s not mathematically a do-or-die situation, the struggling Muskies—and their opponents—know the importance of these two games.
“I think this team is pretty confident. Everyone realizes it’s really important to start the weekend off strong,” said Muskie captain Lorne Koski, who will dress for tonight’s game despite nursing a charley horse in his left leg.
“This is the whole season if we want to continue to play,” said Warriors head coach Al MacDonald. “I would expect the same from Fort.
“For all intents and purposes, this is a playoff weekend,” he added.
The Muskies are coming off two blowout losses to the front-running Dryden Eagles (7-1) and second-place Kenora Broncos (8-1). But their confidence level hasn’t dipped.
“We’ve been doing better lately. We’ve been playing with more intensity and starting to learn how important each game is,” said goalie Mathew Gamsby, who will start between the pipes tonight.
The Muskies’ lone league win of the season was against the Warriors back on Nov. 23 up there.
Muskie head coach Glen Edwards said he’s sure his young team will come out strong. “I think we’ll play well,” he said. “We’ve made some big strides these past two or three weeks.”
Edwards also will have his full line-up available this weekend. Assistant captain Nathan Miller suffered an elbow injury last week but will suit up tonight.
In related news, the Muskies are holding a fundraiser fish fry Friday from 4-8 p.m. at the arena auditorium. Cost is $10 for adults and $7 for children.
And youngsters who wear their minor hockey jersey will pay only $1 to attend Saturday’s matinee game.