The weekend did not go as the Muskie girls' hockey team had hoped and members of the black-and-gold will be looking to put a tough experience behind them as they get set to head into the second half of the NorWOSSA season next week.
Fort High was close in most games but ultimately came away with just a 1-3 record at the annual Loop Weekend Tournament held in Thunder Bay Friday through Sunday.
“The weekend for us in Thunder Bay didn't go as we had hoped,” admitted Muskie head coach Nicole Clarke.
“We started the tournament playing well against the Midget 'A' team, however, the next three games of the tournament did not go so well for us.”
The Muskies opened tourney play on Friday with its lone win in a 4-1 decision over the Midget 'A' Queens.
Captain Jill Calder scored twice to pace the offence while Martina Woods and Ashlyn Beck also both lit the lamp.
Kamryn Sandelovich was solid in garnering the win between the pipes.
The Muskies then lost their second game by a 3-1 margin to the Bantam 'AA' Queens on Saturday morning.
Abbie Kenny provided the lone goal for the black-and-gold. Jersey Masson suffered the loss in goal.
The squad followed that up with a 5-2 setback to the Midget 'AA' Queens that evening.
Kenny and Tatum Glowasky both found the back of the net in a losing cause.
Sandelovich was tagged with the loss in net.
The Muskies ended tourney play on Sunday morning with a narrow 3-2 loss to the Midget Fury.
Ellayna Kabel and Issy Taylor provided the goals for Fort High while Masson took the narrow defeat in goal.
The squad had gone into the weekend tourney fresh off a 6-3 loss to a squad made up of former Muskies in their annual alumni game last Thursday night at the Ice For Kids Arena here.
Taylor Croswell scored twice while Shelby Tymkin, Jessica Coran, Janelle Kaemingh, and Claire Sandelovich also lit the lamp in the win for the older cohort.
Kathryn Fischer, Kenny, and Kianna Antonick provided goals for the current Muskie squad in the setback.
The game was free for the community to attend, with donations being collected and the proceeds going to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
“I thought the alumni game on Thursday was a success,” Clarke enthused.
“I know things in previous years were done differently, however for the 20th anniversary of Muskie girls' hockey I opted to try something new. I think it was nice to see a variety of age groups on the ice, all who represented the Muskie logo well.”
Despite a string of recent losses in exhibition play, the Muskies have done well in NorWOSSA league play and currently sport a 4-1 record and sit in second place in the standings.
Fort High sits just three points back of the league-leading St. Thomas Aquinas Saints of Kenora (5-0-0-1) but do have a game in hand and will look to make-up that ground in the second half.
The Muskies are in NorWOSSA action next Tuesday (Jan. 14) when they host the winless Kenora Broncos (0-5) at 7:30 p.m. at the '52 Canadians Arena.
Clarke said her expectations for her squad will be heightened down the stretch.
“Following this weekend and Monday's practice, we made it clear to the girls that we have very high expectations of them,” she stressed.
"We need to come together as a team now more than ever, and I am so grateful for the tight-knit squad that we have. We all share one common goal that is winning NorWOSSA and continuing on to OFSAA in March.
“With that being said, we have to take it one step at a time and focus on winning each game from here on out” she urged.