Muskies hope to add Friday night games next season

The Muskie Blueline Club is looking to add more Friday night games to the schedule next season to bolster sagging attendance.
Last season, the local high school team played most of its home games on Tuesday nights, traditionally a poor drawing date.
Fort High athletic director Bob Grynol said he will be in contact with league convener Geoff Zilkens regarding next year’s schedule in the coming weeks.
But he warned they were going to need help from the local minor hockey association and Gary Thibault, the recreation facilities superintendent at Memorial Arena.
“It may be a problem [to change the dates] because historically once the [rink] schedule is complete, it’s pencilled in like cement,” Grynol said last week.
“We’re going to have to talk to the minor hockey people and see if they will bend for us,” he added.
Local minor hockey association president Lynn Kellar has agreed to help out the Muskies by trading an equal amount of ice time but stressed they would not be willing to give up valuable ice time.
Grynol admitted a Saturday night game was an option but couldn’t foresee it happening for various reasons. He also said a Sunday afternoon game would not be looked at because it also is considered to be a poor drawing date here in town.
Blueline Club president Barney Maher said crowds for Muskie home games on Tuesdays and Thursdays were disappointing last season, and hoped the Friday draws would be more attractive to fans.
“Our crowds were down but our season ticket sales have been good,” Maher said Monday morning.
He also noted the Blueline Club can only make the request to the high school, leaving it up to them to forward that request to NorWOSSA.
Zilkens said he considers every team’s request when making up the schedule. “We try to accommodate every team as much as possible and give each team a good balance of home and away games.”
But he also admitted the league is in limbo at the moment because a team from Atikokan may be making a return to the NorWOSSA circuit next season.
The league will take a vote involving the five current teams next month.
Meanwhile, the Muskies held their annual dinner and awards presentations last Thursday at the Red Dog Inn, with high-scoring centre Aaron Grynol selected as co-winner of the team’s MVP award with Frank Redford.
Grynol, the team’s leading scoring, also was awarded the Captain Billy Woods Trophy as the rookie-of-the-year.
Justin Whalen was awarded the Al Freeman Memorial Trophy for the team’s most sportsmanlike player while Ryan Armstrong was honoured with the Danny Johnson Award, given to the player who best exemplifies hard work, dedication, and love for the game.
The team’s most Outstanding Contribution Award went to Dwight Galusha.