It's been a great start to the season for both the Muskie girls' and boys' hockey teams.
The girls have compiled a 4-0 record so far in NorWOSSA play while the boys are 3-0, with both squads hoping that success continues against the host Dryden Eagles.
Last week, the girls' squad again routed the Kenora Broncos with a 15-1 drubbing here Tuesday night, then followed that up with a 9-1 romp over the host Sioux Lookout Warriors the following night.
“Unfortunately, Kenora did not have all their skaters in the lineup and their starting goalie was unable to play,” Muskie head coach Todd Hamilton noted in an e-mailed response to the Times.
“They travelled all the way to Fort Frances, worked very hard with their short bench, and gave us some nervous moments but eventually the lack of players caught up with them,” he said.
“Beaver Brae always comes to play.”
The squad then ended the week with a 3-1 exhibition win over the International Falls Broncos in round one of their annual “Border Battle.”
Hamilton was happy to get the win but didn't like some of the things he saw from his team.
“[We were] a bit slow on the forecheck and tentative in our own end,” he recalled.
"Give credit to International Falls, they came to play.
“We had a few lucky bounces and Kamryn Sandelovich was outstanding in net,” Hamilton added.
“[It's] possible the schedule was not on our side, but we have a largely veteran team and we shouldn't make any excuses.”
The squad heads to Dryden tonight and Hamilton expects to face some stiff competition from the Eagles, especially with the Muskies' practice having to be cancelled Monday due to the inclement weather.
“Dryden is always tough at home and the games are always close,” he remarked.
“Like us, Dryden's roster hasn't changed much since last season," Hamilton added. ”We have to be ready to play a complete game from drop of puck to the final whistle.
“Personally, I do not like playing a game without a practice, especially after a weekend,” he admitted.
“The players will not have been on the ice for four days [but there's] not much we can do when weather dictates our schedule.”
The Muskie boys, meanwhile, are coming off a 5-1 win over the Kenora Broncos last Tuesday (Nov. 28).
The squad was supposed to be in Dryden last night to face the Eagles but that game was postponed due to poor road conditions.
No make-up date has been set yet.
“We have talked about the game last week [against Kenora] and we know we need to be better going forward,” head coach Jordan Sinclair noted.
“We need to forget about it and learn from it, and move forward,” he stressed.
“Being better prepared [for games] starts with myself and then trickles down from there.”
The squad next heads to a tournament in Brandon, Man., which should be a great test for the Muskies.
“Brandon will be a tough test for us," Sinclair admitted. ”It's a very good tournament with a number of good teams.
"We know we will need to be at the top of our game to compete and give ourselves a chance.
“As I've said before, I like our chances against any team when we play to our identity,” Sinclair added.
“And playing these good teams is good for our group and should help to make us better.”