It was the “Valentine's Day Massacre” one day late.
The Muskie boys' and girls' hockey teams both ran roughshod over the visiting Kenora Broncos with a pair of shutout routs in NorWOSSA play last night.
At the Ice For Kids Arena, the girls' squad barely let the Broncos out of their own zone all night in posting an 8-0 win for their ninth-straight league win in closing out the regular season.
The result could have been far worse had it not been for the incredible heroism of Kenora goalie Sage Skead.
Her team was outshot by a whopping margin of 107-8, meaning Skead made a mind-numbing 99 saves in the game—most after injuring her left leg while trying to stop Taylor Croswell's game-opening goal 3:30 into the first period.
“In the last game of the regular season, you want your team to bring the effort and we certainly got it tonight,” said Muskie head coach Todd Hamilton, who was without the services of two-thirds of his top line in leading scorer Annalise (CC) Hayes (shoulder) and Lauren Hamilton (upper-body), as well as blueliner Sara Jackson (upper-body).
Hanna LeDrew, Kelsey Langtry, and Jess Steele also scored in the first to make it 4-0 for the first-place Muskies (15-1) against the winless Broncos (0-12).
Jenna Clendenning and Croswell tallied in the middle frame before Jill Calder and Clendenning lit the lamp in the third.
Kamryn Sandelovich had an easy night in making eight stops for the shutout.
The Muskies now will face the fourth-place Sioux Lookout Warriors in a best-of-three semi-final series beginning next Thursday (Feb. 23) at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
As for the boys, the Muskies (14-0) more than compensated for the early ejection of leading scorer Chase McGuire by crushing Kenora 14-0.
McGuire was sent to the dressing room for the night at 11:22 of the first for a checking to the head infraction.
That brought with it a five-minute major, a game misconduct, and a likely two-game suspension from NorWOSSA play, which would keep McGuire out of tonight's regular-season finale against the Dryden Eagles at 7:15 p.m. at the IFK Arena.
He also would miss Game 1 of the Muskies' best-of-three semi-final series against Sioux Lookout here next Friday (Feb. 24).
Goalie Kody Huber of the Broncos (2-12) no doubt had the same feeling of abandonment from the players in front of him as Skead did in the adjacent rink as wave after wave of Muskie attackers came at him.
“Lots of times, it looks like Chase is carrying the brunt of the workload,” noted Muskie head coach Jordan Sinclair, whose team was coming off a 7-2 road win the previous night against the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora).
"But then you look at the stat sheet and it's pretty balanced in scoring for us.
“It improves your chances if guys on the third and fourth lines are scoring, too,” he added.
Rookies Brett Kenny and Jon Busch each had a hat trick for the Muskies.
James Gushulak and Brandon Kocuiba had two apiece in what was Kocuiba's first game back in the lineup in weeks after being injured.
Sheldon Kelly Jr., Eric Pitkanen, Cole Allan, and Kendyn Faragher had the other goals while Spencer Murphy recorded the shutout.
The only Muskie still injured is defenceman Connor Tibbs (upper body), with no timeline for his return at this point.