Muskies fall to Cardinals

The Muskie boys’ hockey team lost 5-3 to the Brother Andre Cardinals (Markham) this morning at the all-Ontario ‘AAA’ championship in Oshawa to drop their record to 1-1.
The black-and-gold—seeded eighth in the 20-team field—fell behind 5-0 through two lackluster periods before staging a third-period rally.
Kevin Bobczynski, George Halverson, and Mike McCaig scored to make the score reasonable but it was too little, too late against the ninth-ranked Cardinals.
Assistant coach Ken Christiansen, who assumed the head coaching duties while Shane Bliss served a one-game suspension for failing to hold the team on the bench during the melee at the end of yesterday morning’s game—was pleased with the team’s performance in the final period.
“I thought we gave them [the Cardinals] too much respect,” Christiansen said of the Muskies’ early woes.
“We laid back and let them take their game to us, and that is something that you just can’t do.
“What happened in the first two periods is a young team playing against a big, experienced team and it showed,” Christiansen added. “But I was really happy with the third period.
“We buckled down and we found out that we can play with these guys. It was too little, too late but this is what we’re down here for. It’s a learning experience and I thought we learned a lot today.
“I’m very proud of the way we came back.”
The Muskies now will face the top-ranked Mother Teresa Spartans (London) in a crucial match-up tonight at 7 p.m. (CDT).
A Fort High win would all but assure the team a spot in the quarter-finals tomorrow while a loss effectively would end their chances of advancing.
They wrap up pool play tomorrow at 9 a.m. (CDT) against 16th-ranked Mayfield.
The Muskies had opened the tournament yesterday morning with a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Thomas A. Stewart Griffins (Peterborough).
The black-and-gold were the recipients of some timely scoring and a stellar performance by goalie David Moen—including a game-saving stop on a penalty shot with 2.8 seconds left in regulation time and the Muskies nursing a one-goal lead.
“There were lots of pucks coming at me and I got really warm, which always makes it easier to make the big saves,” Moen said after the game.
“I helped my team win, so that is good.”
While Moen was keeping the puck out of the net, the line of Kevin Bobczynski, Joe Basaraba, and Kyle Turgeon were filling the Griffin net. The trio combined for four of the five Muskie goals.
“Our line did really well, notching four big goals for us,” Turgeon enthused. “We tried to carry the play and lay the body out there.
“It was really fun.”
The black-and-gold then appeared to seal the win when Turgeon and defenceman Brian Glavish combined for the Muskies’ fifth goal of the morning.
Breaking in on a two-on-one, Turgeon held the puck until the last possible moment before feathering it across to Glavish, who buried it into the yawning cage.
“It was a beautiful feed,” Glavish said after the game. “I saw Turgeon busting out and I joined the rush with him.
“He made a nice move, faked the ‘D’ out and slid it across, and I put it right upstairs.”
For Glavish, the goal served as redemption for a missed opportunity earlier in the game.
“It was a relief,” he said of what proved to be the game-winner. “I missed an open net earlier in the game, so getting that one felt pretty good.”
But the Griffins would score a goal late in the frame to set up what would prove to be a wild finish.
With just under three seconds to go, a Muskie was whistled for putting his hand on the puck in the Fort High crease—resulting in a penalty shot.
Moen played the shooter to perfection, forcing him to take a bad angle shot that grazed the post.
The Griffins then pulled their goalie in the hopes of a late-game miracle.
Following the face-off, the Griffins crashed the Muskie crease. The puck crossed the goal line but immediately was waved off by the officials as time had expired.
In the ensuing confusion—both teams were arguing the call—a Griffin player speared Moen in the throat.
Several of Moen’s teammates who witnessed the incident then pursued the aggressor and a melee ensued, resulting in Bliss’ suspension for this morning’s game against Brother Andre.