Muskies tame Broncos

There weren’t many familiar faces on the Kenora Broncos from the last time the Muskie boys’ hockey team met up with them. The result, though, was a welcome repeat.
Kurtis Wepruk notched a hat trick, and Jake Esselink had three assists, as the Muskies (10-1-1) hammered the Broncos 9-4 there last night in NorWOSSA play.
The Broncos’ roster was turned upside down last week when 10 players were suspended from all athletic competitions for one year after being caught drinking and taking drugs during a road trip to Brandon on Dec. 4-7.
Restocked with Midget players, Kenora hung tough with the NorWOSSA front-runners until late in the second, when the Muskies scored three goals in 3:04 to take a commanding lead.
Brian White, David Pierce, Steven Sus, Lucas Romaniuk, Kyle McTavish, and Greg Flewelling all netted singles for the black-and-gold. The Bronco goal scorers were unavailable by press time.
Last night’s game completed a hectic schedule for the Muskies, which saw them play five games in seven days.
The busy week started last Wednesday (Dec. 10) with a big 3-1 win in Dryden over the Eagles. Mike Niskala scored twice for Fort High in that one while Justin Larson had the game-winner.
Jason Green earned the win in goal, allowing only Jared Krantz’s third-period marker.
But a chance at an undefeated NorWOSSA season was buried by the visiting Red Lake Rams here Friday night as the visitors used tight defence and an opportunistic offence to eke out a 2-1 victory.
Second-period tallies by Dave Weese and NorWOSSA scoring leader Breven Gawley put the Rams up by a pair.
Wepruk instilled a breath of life into the Muskies with his power-play goal with 3:27 to play in the third, but it was too little, too late as Red Lake departed the ice whooping it up with a Stanley Cup-winning brand of excitement.
The jubilation was short-lived, however. Mitch Green’s goal 2:24 into the game was the catalyst for a 7-4 Muskies’ victory Saturday afternoon in the finale of the two-game series.
“We really wanted to beat these guys,” said Green. “Their the only blemish on our record this year. We wanted to show them they’re not the best team in the league, we are.”
Sus scored twice in the win, with Green, Brock Benjamin, Tyler Miller, McTavish, and Terry Kellar adding singles. Gawley netted a pair for the Rams, with Cody Jeffries and Tyler Rolfe rounding out Red Lake’s scoring.
Unfortunately, the sunshine covering the Muskies’ demeanor was infiltrated with some cloudy periods during a 2-1 loss to the Lake of the Woods (Baudette) Bears on Monday night.
Larson opened the scoring in the first, but Borderland Thunder property Brent Olson brought his team even with 27 seconds left in the second.
Darrin Becklund registered his second assist of the evening in the third, setting up Aaron Gens for the game-winner at 5:23.
The Muskies’ next head to Red Lake Falls, Mn. for a pair of exhibition games this Friday and Saturday. Their next home game is Jan. 6 against the Dryden Eagles.