The Muskie girls’ hockey team stared defeat in the face and made it blink.
Annalise Hayes netted the game-winner 3:28 into overtime as the sixth-seeded Muskies erased a 2-0 deficit in the third period to beat the fourth-ranked St. Francis/North Branch Fighting Saints 3-2 in the Red Division final of the 2015 Schwan Cup in Blaine, Mn. on Friday.
Holly Anderson and Kailey Wagner had given the Saints a 2-0 lead entering the final frame.
But Emma Noga struck just 51 seconds into the third before Jenna Clendenning tied it at 4:12 to set the stage for Hayes’ overtime heroics.
Sydney Beck made 22 saves for Fort High, which won all three of its games at the tournament.
The Muskies now will look to build off the momentum of their weekend success when they host the Dryden Eagles in a key NorWOSSA battle tomorrow at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
The two teams are tied for first with 6-1 records and also have split their two games against each other so far this season.
The Muskie boys’ hockey team, meanwhile, was plagued by special teams woes in losing a two-game exhibition series to the host Thunder Bay Minor Midget ‘AAA’ Kings over the weekend.
Fort High gave up a short-handed goal in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat, with Sully Shortreed netting the lone Muskie goal.
Dylan Ossachuk took the loss between the pipes.
Then in yesterday’s rematch, the black-and-gold couldn’t capitalize on multiple power-play chances in the first period before giving up back-to-back tallies courtesy of Thunder Bay’s power play to fall 2-1.
Shortreed again had the Muskies’ lone marker while goalie Matt Booth was tagged with the loss.
The first-place Muskies will look to remain perfect in NorWOSSA play when they take their 6-0 record into Kenora on Wednesday to face the fifth-place St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (2-3-1-1).
The Muskies don’t play at home again until Jan. 14 against the Kenora Broncos.