The Muskies finished the fifth-annual “Scrimmagefest” in Warroad over the weekend with a 2-2 record but head coach Glen Edwards came away liking what he saw.
In fact, you could argue he feels much better about his team as they prepare for their NorWOSSA season-opener here tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. against the Kenora Broncos.
“The boys were very good, they played great,” said Edwards, in his second season at the helm. “First of all, all four lines proved that they can contribute significantly and we showed that all four lines were effective lines.”
The Muskies opened action Friday with a 4-2 loss to the Silver Heights Huskies (Winnipeg) in what Edwards called his team’s “worst performance” against “probably the weakest team” at the tourney.
But the black-and-gold bounced back and knocked off a very tough Park Center team (Minneapolis) 3-2 later that night.
The Muskies were doubled 4-2 by a split squad from Warroad on Saturday, and then downed a team from Crookston 5-1.
Edwards said he was “very impressed” with the way the Muskies improved their play as the exhibition tourney progressed.
“I was very impressed with our energy, our discipline, and our quickness,” said Edwards, adding he was especially pleased with the play of his rookies, particularly forwards Adam McTavish, Steve Keesic, and Ross Anderson, and defenceman Gary Curtis.
Edwards also singled out the play of his “fourth line” (Chris Kellar, Tyler Coyle, and McTavish) for creating several scoring chances and netting a few goals.
On defence, the Muskies’ five-man unit played a strong, physical game, Edwards noted, although he admitted they made a few too many mistakes with the puck.
But when the defence faltered, the Muskies were backstopped by the goaltending trio of Blake Carlson, Mike Glueheisen, and Jamie Booth.
Perhaps the biggest decision Edwards had to make after the tourney was paring down the number of goalies from three to two, opting to keep Carlson and Glueheisen to start the season.