Muskies finally get Broncos’ number

“The Cat in the Hat” is doing big at the box-office these days, but “Dr. Sus” was far from a smash hit with the International Falls Broncos here last night.
With the Muskie boys’ hockey team clinging precariously to a 1-0 lead late in the third period, captain Steven Sus netted what turned to be the eventual game-winner as the black-and-gold ended their run of frustration with their cross-border counterparts by coming away with a 2-1 exhibition victory.
Last year, the Broncos demolished the Muskies in their two-game series 13-1, riding the backs of forward Ben Gordon and goalie Jared Baldwin.
But with Gordon, Baldwin, and several other notable Broncos now graduated, the Muskies seized the opportunity by sticking to an airtight defensive system that kept the Broncos off the scoresheet until the dying moments.
After a scoreless first period that saw both teams have chances, Brian White got the all-important first goal midway into the second to put the Muskies up 1-0.
The rest of the game was fraught with excitement and hard hitting, if not an abundance of goals.
Sus came through with two minutes left, though, to give the Muskies what proved to be an insurance marker.
That’s because shortly after the celebration ended in the stands and on the Muskies’ bench, the Broncos finally beat Fort High goalie Jason Green to set up a white-knuckled final minute.
International Falls would come up empty, though, and their frustration would boil over to the point where the two teams became involved in a series of late-game scuffles.
Sadly, the game is the only meeting of the two teams this season as the Falls chose to leave Fort High off its own home schedule, citing the Muskies not being a good attendance draw as the reason.
< *c>Sweeping success
Meanwhile, the Muskies had all the NorWOSSA action they could squeeze into a three-day period over the weekend in Sioux Lookout, winning four games against the league’s woeful twosome of the Sioux Lookout Warriors and the Pelican Falls TimberWolves.
Fort High raised its league mark to 7-0-1 by thrashing the Warriors 9-0 on Friday night and 14-0 on Saturday afternoon, then laying waste to the TimberWolves by scores of 8-1 and 10-1.
The black-and-gold were slow out of the blocks Friday night against the Warriors, with Tyler Miller getting the only goal of the first period for the Muskies.
But everything changed in the second, when Fort High drilled five goals in 3:36 past Warriors goalie Matt Senecal.
Josh Sigurdson, Sus, White, and Justin Larson (with two goals himself in just 18 seconds) filled the Sioux Lookout net to send the Muskies on their way.
Mitch Green, Mike Niskala, and Sus (with his second of the game) added to the blowout in the third while Cody Wood earned his first shutout in NorWOSSA play.
The Muskie sharpshooters were even more primed and ready to go the following afternoon, scoring five in the first and seven more in the second.
David Pierce had a hat trick to head up the Muskie attack while Greg Flewelling and Sus each had a pair. Brock Benjamin, Terry Kellar, Mark Kellar, Niskala, White, Matt Redford, and Green all had singles, with Matt Gamsby posting the perfect game in net.
Saturday night was all right for scoring, as well, with Miller and White each registering two goals and an assist.
Niskala, Sus, Pierce, and Flewelling also had tallies while Tim Kakegamic kept the Muskies from pulling off three-straight shutouts with his goal against Jason Green.
If the gas tanks were nearing empty, the Muskies kept that fact well-hidden in Sunday afternoon’s finale.
Niskala was king of the Muskie hill with a natural hat trick, with Sus assisting on all three goals. He ended up with four goals overall.
Pierce played a strong supporting role with a hat trick while Larson, Kurtis Wepruk, and White chipped in with a goal each. Sus adding four assists.
Rocco Strang had the TimberWolves only goal against Wood, who has allowed just two goals in three starts this season.
The Muskies return to action next Tuesday night here against the Chisholm Blue Streaks in exhibition play, with game time set for 7:30 p.m.