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Muskie girls win pre-season finale

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Kansas City Royals—World Series champions.

Woodbury (Mn.) Royals—the latest victim of the reigning NorWOSSA champs.

Annalise (CC) Hayes was in on every goal, and Lauren Vold chalked up four points, as the Muskie girls’ hockey team downed Woodbury 5-2 in its pre-season finale Saturday at the ’52 Canadians Arena.

“[Hayes] had a great game and [Vold] had her best game of the season so far,” noted Muskie head coach Todd Hamilton, whose team opened the NorWOSSA regular season last night against the visiting Dryden Eagles (the outcome was unavailable as of press time).

“We chatted with our players about wanting them to hit the net and Lauren got two goals by doing so,” he added.

“She probably could have had four if she had hit the net with two of her other shots.”

Hayes opened the scoring with a short-handed effort with just nine seconds left in the first period.

Abby Plourde, with one of three goals from Muskie blueliners in the game, made it 2-0 at 2:32 of the second.

But Woodbury stormed back late in the period with two goals in a 13-second span to tie the score.

Olivia Twohig notched a power-play marker at 13:07, followed right after by Shannon Motzko’s equalizer at 13:20.

“That’s happened a couple of times this year so far,” Hamilton said about costly mental lapses by his team.

“When we get a goal or two up, we have got to focus on getting that third one so we can move on with our game,” he stressed.

Taylor Croswell steadied the ship when she converted a power-play set-up from Hayes and Lauren Hamilton with 33 seconds left in the second to put the Muskies up 3-2.

Vold then scored on a pair of blasts from the point in the third to ice the victory.

The Muskies made the lead stand up despite being down two forwards after Janelle Kaemingh (body checking) and Rylee Redford (hitting from behind) each received game misconducts earlier.

“I watched Woodbury on Friday when they played International Falls,” said Hamilton.

“They had really speed forwards, as we expected, and a couple of big players that were strong down the middle for them,” he noted.

“Woodbury was also pretty enthusiastic because playing us was their first game ever in Canada.”

Hamilton, meanwhile, continued to tinker with his line combinations in Saturday’s game—a practice he said he intends to maintain as the season progresses.

“I’ve never been a believer in that,” he remarked, referring to keeping the same trios together for long periods of time.

“All the players should be able to play with each other,” Hamilton reasoned.

“Situations are going to happen in games with penalties or injuries, where [the lines are] going to get changed around, and [the players] have to be familiar with each other anyway.”

Goalie Sydney Beck, the Grade 10 rookie who has established herself as the Muskies’ No. 1 starter during the pre-season, turned in another solid performance against the Royals.

“Sydney did a great job, and the big benefit with her is she is in game shape already because she ran cross-country with the Muskies earlier in the fall,” noted Hamilton.

With Hamilton listing back-up goalie Marissa Loveday as unavailable due to injury, netminder Harleigh Brow-Rose was added to the roster.

Her availability will vary week-to-week, however, depending on her obligations to two other teams she plays on in the area.

“When Harleigh can make it, she’ll be there,” said Hamilton.

“On the days she can’t, we’ve got [forward] Siobhan Mackintosh and [blueliner] Sam McKinnon as our fall-back plan for second goalies,” he noted.

“They’ve both practised with us as goalies and both have been surprisingly good.”

The Muskies resume NorWOSSA action tomorrow in Kenora against the Broncos before hosting the Sioux Lookout Warriors for a pair of games this Sunday and Monday (Nov. 29-30).

Sunday’s clash takes place at 3 p.m. at the Emo-La Vallee Arena while Monday’s rematch is set for 1 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.

Fort High then will play its third game in three days with another trip to Kenora on Tuesday (Dec. 1) against the Broncos.

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