The Muskie boys’ hockey team did some good for the local Salvation Army at the Ice For Kids Arena here Friday night—collecting teddy bears thrown onto the ice after the first goal.
But after the home squad lit up the visiting Kenora Broncos for nine goals in all, perhaps the Sally Ann wished there had been a toss after each tally.
Fort High dumped the Broncos 9-2 to improve to 6-0 in NorWOSSA play while Kenora dropped to 3-2.
The Muskies burned the Broncos with several breakaways and odd-man rushes set up by fleet-of-foot forwards.
“We’ve been working on speed all week and it showed,” said Muskie coach Shawn Jourdain.
As the Muskie lead increased, the instances of Muskie defencemen, especially captain Jamie Kaun, pinching into the play became common.
Kaun did end up tallying, but the high-risk, high-reward style of play did result in scoring chances for Kenora, including one breakaway goal.
“Our defenceman did a lot of jumping into the play,” noted Jourdain.
“You just don’t like to make those mistakes,” he stressed.
But Kaun said he enjoys taking the initiative to join the play. “I just like jumping into the rush,” he reasoned.
Muskie forward Jeff Davis led Fort High’s charge with a hat trick before the game was halfway over.
“He’s got that long stick and the long reach, so he’s very good around the net,” said Jourdain.
The game was fairly clean for the first two periods, but got a bit wild in the third.
There was a scary moment at 10:23 of the third when Jacob Witherspoon was hit from behind by Dustin Boucha and stayed on the ice for about a minute, eventually leaving under his own power.
Boucha was ejected for the hit.
Witherspoon sustained a neck strain, but Muskie coach Shawn Jourdain said he was expected to be in the lineup for last night’s rematch against the Broncos in Kenora (the outcome wasn’t know by press time).
“Sometimes that happens in a game like that,” said Jourdain.
Fort High made life miserable for Bronco goalie Brett Arseneault right from the get-go.
Davis tapped in a tasty set-up from David Chambers 9:34 into the first period to send teddy bears flying onto the ice from the stands in conjunction with the team’s annual “Teddy Bear Toss” promotion for the Salvation Army.
Fort High then kept the pressure on high, tallying again just two minutes later.
The play started and ended with Donovan Cousineau, who scampered to the right wing to help double-team the Bronco defender and keep the puck in the zone.
Seconds later, Cousineau was on the left wing, scoring a close-range goal past Arseneault.
The Muskies increased the lead to 3-0 before the period was done when Davis scooped a rebound into the twine at 13:51.
The hosts nearly put up another goal when Matt DePiero made the Bronco defence resemble pylons before roofing a backhand that beat Arseneault but not the crossbar.
Fort High outshot Kenora 19-3 in the first period.
Davis snapped home his third of the game 2:51 into the second.
Cousineau then added his second of the night at 11:56 before Curtis Zilinski got Kenora on the board when he beat Devin Stromness on a breakaway at 14:10.
The Muskies regained their five-goal cushion before the period was out, however, as Kaun teed one past Arseneault while on the power play to make it 6-1.
Fort High kept its three-goals-a-period pattern going in the third, but only after Bronco forward Jordan Meyers tallied 21 seconds in.
From there, Muskie defenceman Tyson McLean got in on the action, slapping one home with Davis Smith providing an admirable screen at 4:55.
Just 1:27 later, DePiero would get his goal—stuffing home Jeff Cridland’s rebound to inflate the score to 8-2.
Smith rounded out the scoring at the eight-minute mark when he powered past the Bronco defence to the front of the net and roofed a shot.
Stromness stopped 15-of-17 shots to earn the win while a busier Arseneault made 36 saves in taking the loss.