This “Border Battle” was pretty much all red, white, and blue.
The International Falls Broncos waltzed to an 8-4 victory over the Muskie girls’ hockey team in exhibition action Tuesday night at Bronco Arena.
After squeaking out a 4-3 win in last year’s game, the Broncos had a much easier path to success this time as the Muskies surrendered the most goals they’ve allowed in one game all season.
The Falls jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Lexi Erickson set up Marissa Kerry less than three minutes into the game, then scored herself with less than seven minutes left in the first period.
Lauren Hamilton gave the Muskies a jolt with a short-handed marker about two minutes later.
But the Broncos countered that just 31 seconds later during the same power play when Gina Auran beat Muskie goalie Sydney Beck.
Annalise Hayes made it a one-goal game six minutes into the second on a feed from Abby Plourde.
But Erickson struck again less than three minutes later before Lexi Edwards lit the lamp two minutes after that.
Captain Rachel Jean tried to steer the Muskie ship into calmer waters with an unassisted marker before the end of the frame to close the gap to 5-3.
But Edwards restored the Broncos’ three-goal margin just 12 seconds into the third.
Goals by Grace Bragg and Edwards just 32 seconds apart made it 8-3.
Jean and Jenna Clendenning later set up Hayes for her second of the night to round out the scoring.
Grace Wegner made 12 saves to earn the win while Beck had 25 stops in defeat.
The Muskies, who are 9-1 in NorWOSSA play, next will visit the second-place Dryden Eagles (9-2-0-1) on Sunday.
Their next home game is slated for Thursday, Feb. 4 against the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora).