The second half of the NorWOSSA schedule for the Muskie boys' and girls' hockey teams kicked off this week.
Both squads faced the host Kenora Broncos last night (results unavailable as of press time) before returning home to face the Dryden Eagles today at “The Duke” (Couchiching Arena).
The girls' game was set for 4:30 p.m., with the boys' game to follow at 7:30 p.m.
The boys sported a 6-0 record in NorWOSSA play over the first half of the season, but also saw their fair share of injuries, illness, and suspensions.
Head coach Jordan Sinclair is looking forward to having a full team once again for the home stretch of the season.
“Heading into playoffs, the biggest thing for us is we need to get everyone back as we have been shorthanded for a long time because of injuries, sickness, and suspensions and haven't iced a full team for a long time,” he noted.
"So we need to get everyone back on the ice and healthy.
“From there, we want to get back to our identity,” added Sinclair.
“We want to be a team that will skate, get up the ice in a hurry, and attack with all five guys, and we want to be aggressive,” he remarked.
Sinclair believes the team has performed well so far but there always is room for improvement.
“I thought we have done some good things over the first half of the season and have faced some adversity,” he noted.
"But I know this team has a lot of room to grow.
“Going forward, we need to work on some details of our game and do some little, simple things that will make our game more effective,” Sinclair said.
“[We] also need to do better work as five-man units and improve our power play.”
The Muskie girls, meanwhile, sitting with an 8-0-1 record so far in NorWOSSA play, are coming off three exhibition games in Thunder Bay over the weekend where they came away with a tie and two losses.
Head coach Todd Hamilton believes their season record doesn't truly show how they've played in games.
“I think our record is somewhat misleading,” he admitted.
"We have not played three full periods of solid hockey yet and we have escaped some games with a win that was not really deserved.
“[What] I'm looking for is consistent effort,” Hamilton stressed.
With the NorWOSSA playoffs coming up next month, Hamilton has a specific way in mind that he would like the team to play.
“I'd like to see more effort with one-on-one battles and commitment to defensive zone coverage,” he remarked.
“If we don't do this, [the] playoffs will be brief,” he warned.