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Muskie girls split

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The train was coming down the tracks straight for the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints, with a black-and-gold engineer in a bad mood at the controls.

Putting their first NorWOSSA loss of the season the night before behind them, the Muskie girls’ hockey team found an extra gear in delivering a 7-0 thrashing to the Saints last night in Kenora.

Fort High (6-1) let its unblemished record slip away in a 2-1 loss to the host Dryden Eagles on Tuesday, but was full marks for bouncing back in what was the team’s fifth game in six days.

“The players were ready for it,” said Muskie head coach Todd Hamilton, whose squad outshot the Saints 43-13.

“They got mentally prepared and they were ready to go, and took charge of the game from the start and didn’t let go until the final buzzer,” he noted.

Annalise Hayes lit up the Saints for four goals and an assist.

Hayes and Taylor Croswell made it 2-0 after one before Hayes set up Sam McKinnon.

She then scored two of her own to complete the hat trick in the second period.

Muskie captain Rachel Jean, on a feed from Jenna Clendenning, and Hayes, off a drop pass from Abby Plourde, tallied in the third.

Sydney Beck made 13 stops to earn the shutout after playing terrific in Tuesday’s loss to the Eagles with a 28-save effort.

Darra Zieroth had opened the scoring in the first before Emma Noga tied it in the second on a pass from Siobhan Mackintosh.

But the Eagles netted the decisive marker while shorthanded later in the frame as Jess Carter beat Beck.

Jacquie Grandmont, who had trouble in Dryden’s season-opening 5-4 loss to the Muskies here back on Nov. 24, was sharp Tuesday in making 29 saves to nab the win.

“Dryden’s a really good team with strong goaltending and they’re well-coached,” lauded Hamilton.

“They played well and we did, too, at times,” he added.

“It was just a game between two good teams and you have to have a winner.”

The Muskies, who played last night’s game without defender Lauren Vold (upper-body injury) and Noga (personal), now get a much-needed break until next week when they’ll host the Saints for a two-game set.

The first one goes Wednesday (Dec. 16) at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena at 7:15 p.m., with Game 2 set for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in the ’52 Canadians Arena.

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