Muskies open with win

The Muskie boys’ hockey team scored three unanswered goals in the third period yesterday afternoon, lifting them to a 5-3 victory over the Ancaster Royals in their opening game of the all-Ontarios in Ottawa.
The score was much closer than the game itself as Fort High dominated Ancaster—out-chancing them and out-shooting them by about 20 shots.
“We got on them quick and never let up,” said Muskie head coach Shane Bliss.
The eighth-ranked Muskies captured the all-important opening win. OFSAA is a short tournament, where teams only play four games in the preliminary round, so every point is crucial.
“Felt good to get the first one,” said Muskie forward Zach McCool. “It is so important.”
The game was a penalty-filled affair as both teams combined for more than 25 minutes in the box. The infractions also detracted from the flow of the game.
The 19th-ranked Royals were able to take advantage of their power-play opportunities, which was all that kept them in the game, scoring two goals with the man advantage.
The Muskies, on the other hand, were not able to capitalize on their odd-man advantages, struggling to create opportunities while on the power play.
“We must capitalize on power plays,” Muskie forward Kevin Bobczynski stressed. “We had a lot of chances and let them off easy.”
Fort High dominated a penalty-riddled first period with countless scoring opportunities.
Zach McCool tipped in a missed shot by Bobczynski, which had bounced off the end boards, to give the black-and-gold the 1-0 lead with less than two minutes left in the period.
Ancaster quickly responded, though, as Richard Mastroluisi deflected a point shot past David Moen while McCool sat in the “sin bin.”
The second period was much of the same as Fort Frances outshot Ancaster, and both teams found themselves filling the penalty box. Bobczynski tipped home a point shot from cousin Patrick Bobczynski at the 1:35 mark to tie the game up at 2-2.
“It is always nice to have the two of us hook up,” said Kevin Bobczynski.
But with 52 seconds remaining, Ancaster forward Brian Earl poked home a rebound to take a 3-2 lead into the third.
Only 20 seconds into the third frame, Taylor Jorgenson turned and shot the puck on net, fooling Ancaster’s goalie Tyler Leach, to tie the game at 3-3.
Then halfway through the period, Blake Wepruk scored the eventual game-winner when he pounced on a rebound that had ricocheted off the post giving the Muskies a 4-3 lead.
A few minutes later, George Halverson had three hacks in front of the net before scoring the fifth and final Muskie goal to seal the win.
The Muskies continued Pool ‘B’ play today with games against ninth-ranked Grand River (Kitchener) at 12:15 p.m. and then third-ranked A.B. Lucas (London) at 8 p.m. (EDT).
They close out pool play versus 14th-ranked John McCrae (Nepean) at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).
The top two teams from each pool advance to the quarter-finals later Friday, with the semi-finals, bronze-medal game, and gold-medal game scheduled for Saturday.
Editor’s note: Eric Scharf is a journalism student at Algonquin College in Ottawa.