After cruising past their NorWOSSA counterparts, the Muskie girls' hockey team is ready for a new challenge.
That comes next Wednesday (March 21) when the third-seeded black-and-gold open play at the 16-team OFSAA 'A/AA' championships in Timmins.
Muskie defender Hanna Ledrew is excited about the opportunity for her squad to add a provincial title to their NorWOSSA crown.
“Everybody obviously wants to go there to win, not [just] to participate,” she said after the team's practice Friday afternoon at the '52 Canadians Arena.
“It's kind of a big deal," she added. "It's a lot of money [if you're] to go all the way there and just show up.”
Ledrew believes the camaraderie the Muskie girls have with one another has helped lead them to success so far.
“Everybody's really dedicated, nobody doesn't want to be there,” she stressed.
“I guess, just, nobody's forced to be here pretty much,” she noted.
“So when we all want to be there, we play so much better.”
The Muskies mainly worked on skating drills at Friday's practice in an attempt to keep their fitness levels up.
And considering it's been nearly two weeks since they last were in game action )when they swept the Dryden Eagles 2-0 in their best-of-three NorWOSSA final), that's probably for the wiser.
Fort High open play in Pool 'C' next Wednesday with a 7 a.m. (CDT) showdown against fifth-ranked Anderson CVI (Whitby).
The black-and-gold then will face 10th-seeded ÉSC Thériault at 1 p.m. (CDT).
The Muskies then will wrap up pool play against No. 16 St. Joseph CSS (Mississauga) at 7 a.m. (CDT) on Thursday.
Muskie head coach Todd Hamilton knows what the keys to success would be for his squad at OFSAA.
“I think we'll continue working hard, playing smart, and having fun . . . it seems to be working for us,” he said last week.
“We play three 20-minute periods all season [while] OFSAA games are [just] 15 with one flood,” Hamilton added.
“[They are] short games so we have to be ready when the puck drops, score early, and play a fast-paced game,” he stressed.
Other teams that qualified for OFSAA include top-ranked ÉSC L'Escale (Clarence-Rockland), No. 2 St. Anne's CSS (Clinton), No. 4 Leaside HS (Toronto), No. 6 Lo-Ellen Park SS (Greater Sudbury), No. 7 St. Joseph's CHS (Windsor), and No. 8 St. Mark HS (Ottawa).
Rounding out the teams are No. 9 St. David CSS (Waterloo), the host No. 11 Timmins High & Vocational School, No. 12 Miora SS (Belleville), No. 13 Notre Dame CSS (Brampton), No. 14 Lambton Central C. & V.I. (Petrolia), and No. 15 Dunville SS (Haldimand).