OTTAWA—The Muskie boys’ hockey team survived a late comeback attempt by the General Amherst Bulldogs (Amherstburg) to earn a 3-2 victory this morning at the OFSAA ‘A/AA’ championships in Ottawa.
“We hung on,” Muskie head coach Jamie Davis said with a laugh.
“I thought we played really good.”
But Davis was less pleased with the efforts of the referees.
“The officiating was awful to say the least,” he remarked.
“It wasn’t good, it was inconsistent, and I think they let it get out of control.
“Unfortunately, we came out with playing the last six-eight minutes shorthanded and they’re putting the pressure on,” Davis noted.
“But we hung on and that’s all that matters.”
The Muskies (1-1) opened the scoring late in the first period when Chase McGuire buried the rebound after Cameron Gushulak’s initial shot.
Colton Bodnar then extended the lead early in the second period on a goal assisted by Graeme Kitt.
The Muskies made it 3-0 in the third when Kitt wired a puck over the glove of the Bulldogs’ goalie Jack Langlois.
“Cam [Gushulak] made a nice play to tie up the defenceman and get the puck back to me,” Kitt recalled.
“It was a 2-on-1, I saw the glove side open, and I had to try and hit it.”
But the Muskies found themselves in penalty trouble later in the frame, which the Bulldogs capitlized on.
Then they scored with their net empty to quickly pull within one.
But Muskie goalie Matt Booth was able to hold down the fort and preserve the win.
“This game was a little bit chippier but we definitely had some more room out [there] to skate,” Kitt said afterwards.
“And we played well, did our jobs, and everything seemed to fall into place,” he added.
The Muskies were coming off a 5-3 loss to the Frontenac Falcons (Kingston) in their opening game yesterday.
McGuire led the way with two goals and an assist while Max Williams netted the other goal.
Fort High took to the ice again this afternoon against the third-seeded Saint Michael Mustangs (Niagara Falls).
Then they’ll wrap up pool play tomorrow morning versus the 15th-ranked St. Joseph Jaguars (Nepean).
The fourth-seeded Muskie girls, meanwhile, are on the ropes early after falling 5-1 to the 13th-seeded Ecole Secondaire Catholique Embrun Cyclones (Embrun) in their opening game at OFSAA this morning in Stratford.
Rylee Redford scored shorthanded for the defending OFSAA silver-medallists in the opening minutes of the first period.
But the Cyclones struck back just minutes later against Muskie goalie Sydney Beck, then took the lead later in the frame.
After a scoreless second, Embrun netted two quick markers early in the third, including one on a power play.
The Cyclones added one more to seal the victory.
With just two teams in each of the four-team pools advancing to the quarter-finals, the Muskies were in must-win territory this afternoon against the seventh-ranked Holy Trinity Secondary School Titans (Courtice).
The game was incomplete as of press time.
Fort High wraps up pool play tomorrow morning versus the 10th-ranked Mother Teresa Secondary School Spartans (London).