Annalise Hayes broke the Dryden Eagles’ hearts yet again.
Hayes backhanded home her second goal of the night with nine seconds left in regulation time to cap a thrilling 5-4 comeback win for the Muskie girls’ hockey team last night in Dryden.
Fort High (10-1) trailed Dryden (9-3-0-1) by one point in the standings going into the game and were down by two goals twice in the third period.
But the black-and-gold reached deep to come up with four goals in the final frame, with Sam McKinnon and Emma Noga tallying before rookie Kelsey Langtry tied things up with 4:24 to go.
Hayes, who had netted the tying and winning goals late in the third period in the regular-season opener between the two teams, then added the exclamation point against Eagles’ goalie Jacquie Grandmont to stun Dryden’s fans.
Sydney Beck earned the win in goal for the Muskies.
Not only did the win lift the Muskies back into first place, it gave them a 3-1 win in the season series and virtually locked up top spot and home-ice advantage throughout the NorWOSSA playoffs.
The Muskies next will face the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora) for three-straight games—a schedule quirk due to a pair of pre-Christmas contests here that were postponed.
The squads first will meet tomorrow night in Kenora, then square off again Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at the ’52 Canadians Arena.
They’ll clash again Feb. 9 at the Ice For Kids Arena.
The Muskie boys, meanwhile, launched their own rally against the Thunder Bay Minor Midget ‘AAA’ Kings—winning all three games of a weekend exhibition series at the Couchiching Arena to capture the season series 3-2.
After losing a pair to the Kings in Thunder Bay on Jan. 2-3, Fort High took the first game by a 4-2 count Saturday afternoon.
Kendyn Faragher, who left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury and didn’t play the rest of the weekend, opened the scoring in the first period.
Chase McGuire and Brent Jourdain (power play) notched second-period markers while Graeme Kitt added a power-play tally in the third.
Dylan Ossachuk earned the win in net.
Game 2 on Saturday evening was a defensive struggle that saw the Muskies emerge with a 2-1 victory.
Sully Shortreed and Cam Gushulak’s goals in the second stood up to counteract the Kings’ lone goal of the third.
Matt Booth got the win in goal.
The rubber match for the season series Sunday was decided on two third-period goals by McGuire—one into an empty net—that turned a 2-2 tie into a 4-2 triumph.
McGuire was in on all four goals, also assisting on first-period markers by Jourdain and Shortreed.
Ossachuk held the fort for the win.
Rookie defenceman Cole Allan missed the entire series due to an undisclosed injury.
The Muskies now head to Hallock, Mn. tomorrow night for the second half of a two-game exhibition series with the Kittson Bearcats.
Fort High won the first meeting here 9-2 back on Dec. 18.
The first-place Muskies (9-0) then will take on fifth-place St. Thomas Aquinas (3-6-1-1) on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Editor’s note: The Muskie Blueline Club was scheduled to issue a press release at 11:45 a.m. today announcing the return of the Muskie boys’ hockey team’s annual battle with the International Falls Broncos.
The game is expected to be played Monday, Feb. 8 at the Ice For Kids Arena, likely at 7:15 p.m.
Watch the Daily Bulletin and Fort Frances Times for further details.