Muskies third at home tourney

The Muskie girls’ hockey team got their season off to a solid start over the weekend by finishing third in their home tournament thanks to a 1-0 win over the Altona Aces on Sunday at the Ice for Kids Arena.
Head coach Lynn Kellar was pleased with his team’s performance.
“Overall we were satisfied with the weekend,” he said. “We improved every game and that’s what we wanted.”
Kellar and his coaching staff had stressed moving the puck intelligently and looking for the open player prior to the tournament, which also attracted the Kenora Broncos, Dryden Eagles, Sioux Lookout Warriors, and St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora).
And for the most part, they were happy with how the team responded.
“The biggest thing was as the weekend went on, we were starting to move the puck better,” Kellar remarked.
“We started making some better decisions in the offensive zone” he added.
“We’ve been trying to teach the kids a little more patience—waiting for the play to develop rather than forcing the play—and I think that improved.”
Leading the Muskies at the offensive end all weekend was the line of Cortney Caldwell, Taylor Meyers, and Lauren Krukoski. They were the black-and-gold’s most consistent threat—something that did not go unnoticed by the coaches.
“They had a good weekend,” Kellar said. “That line got better as the weekend went on. They were looking for each other and making some good plays.
“We expect that line to do well.”
The Muskies will continue to work on their puck movement this week in practice prior to attending the Silver Oaks tournament in Winnipeg on the weekend.
The black-and-gold play their first NorWOSSA game Nov. 7 against the Eagles in Dryden.
< *c>Muskies vs. Altona
The Muskies faced the Aces for the second time in two days on Sunday to determine which team would finish third.
The black-and-gold appeared to get on the board as the first period was winding down when Meyers deflected Krukoski’s shot into the net.
But the goal immediately was waved off by the officials as it was deemed Meyers had kicked the puck into the net.
The line of Meyers, Krukoski, and Caldwell continued to press throughout the rest of the period, but they were unable to solve the Altona goalie and the game remained scoreless after one.
Both teams started slowly in the second period, with most of the action taking place between the bluelines.
Fort High would break the scoreless drought midway through the period as Carly Holt led a three-on-two rush into the Aces’ zone. The speedy Muskie forward made a nifty move around the Altona defender and took a hard shot.
Aces’ goalie Leiette Klassen got a piece of the puck but Kailey Curtis was there to net the rebound for a 1-0 lead.
Altona threatened to even the score late in the period while on the power play but Chelsey Steinert’s shot rang off the post and stayed out.
The Aces came out firing to start the third period, generating several quality scoring chances. But Muskie goalie Katie Stearns closed the door—preserving the lead.
Altona would pull their goalie in favour of the extra attacker with 1:10 to go but it was all for naught as the Muskies skated to the 1-0 victory.
< *c>Muskies vs. Kenora
The Muskies faced traditional NorWOSSA rivals the Kenora Broncos to open the tournament Friday night. And the first period had all the trappings of a season-opener as both squads appeared tentative in the early going.
After a scoreless period, the action picked up in the second as both teams shook off the early-season rust.
The Broncos opened the scoring at 14:30 when Bronco captain Jennifer Meisner beat Stearns with a shot. Assistant captains Lindsay Agnew and Jennifer Craven drew the assists.
Kenora doubled their lead with 4:31 left in the period when Amanda Wolfe beat Stearns Agnew and Meisner were credited with the assists.
Holt didn’t help her team’s cause when she took a bodychecking penalty just seconds after the puck dropped to resume play.
And the Broncos capitalized with the man-advantage when Wolfe scored her second goal in as many minutes. Agnew picked up her third point of the afternoon with the assist.
The black-and-gold cut the lead to 3-1 before the end of the period when Jessica Barker converted a pass from Caldwell just 18 seconds before intermission.
But that was as close as the Muskies would get, with neither team scoring in the final period.
< *c>Muskies vs. Altona
The Muskies took to the ice again Saturday afternoon looking to break into the win column against Altona.
Despite controlling the tempo of the game throughout the period, the black-and-gold were unable to generate many quality offensive opportunities and as a result the game was scoreless at intermission.
The Muskies then got into penalty trouble in the second period and it wasn’t long before the Aces took advantage.
Dawna Houle received a pass from Lindsey Braun along the boards, curled into the slot, and fired a shot off the far post that beat Muskie goalie Sara Trendiak.
Desirae Dueck earned the second assist.
Trailing 1-0 after two, the black-and-gold evened the score early in the third period on the power play.
Miranda Kellar caught Aces’ goalie Leiette Klassen out of position on the play after she had made two great stops on Krukoski and Meyers seconds beforehand.
The Muskies then pulled ahead minutes later courtesy of their second power-play goal marker of the period.
Meyers’ shot from the point was blocked in front of the Altona net but the puck found its way onto Holt’s stick. The Muskie forward did not hesitate, catching the Aces’ goalie off-guard with a quick shot.
Kellar drew the assist for her second point of the game.
Deanna Saunders sealed the Muskie victory with an empty net goal to put her team up 3-1 with a minute to go.
< *c>Muskies vs.
< *c>Sioux Lookout
Fort High then faced the Sioux Lookout Warriors in their final match of round-robin play. Despite another slow start, the Muskies did manage to get the offence rolling before the end of the first period.
Krukoski carried the puck down the left wing on a two-on-one with Meyers late in the period. Krukoski drew the Warrior defender to her and then feathered a perfect pass on to Meyers’ stick.
Meyers fired the puck into the gaping cage for a 1-0 Muskie lead.
The black-and-gold took control of the game in the second period as Deanna Saunders, Kristen Penner, Caldwell, and Meyers all found the back of the net during the period to make the score 5-0 through two.
The Muskie domination of the Warriors continued in the third period as Krukoski, Curtis, and Carly Holt each scored goals in what was now a rout.
The Warriors broke the shutout bid with just under six minutes to go but it was too little, too late as the Muskies cruised to an 8-1 victory.

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