While being careful not to compare this year’s edition of the Muskies to the team that won all-Ontario gold here in 1989, head coach Glen Edwards admitted he’s having a tough time remembering a past squad that’s had such a dominating start.
The black-and-gold improved their NorWOSSA-leading record to a perfect 4-0 with a 7-2 win over the Dryden Eagles there last night.
The Muskies have now outscored their opponents by a 35-4 margin in four games—all within a span of a week.
“Not that I can recall,” Edwards replied when asked if a past Muskie team has ever started out this dominating. “The league is kind of in an off year with Dryden, Kenora, and Red Lake but maybe the ’89 team [was just as dominating].
“In past years, we have had teams just as good but the league was better,” he noted.
Once again, the black-and-gold jumped out to the early lead—this time 2-0—and gradually wore down the Eagles with solid forechecking.
Ross Anderson got things rolling with a pair of goals midway through the first period. Then Dryden’s Dave Dickey sliced into that lead in the second when he beat Muskie starter Jamie Booth.
But that lead was short-lived as Donald Kellar scored, quickly followed by Andrew Bynkoski and Jesse Rodrigues (with two), to give the Muskies a comfortable 6-2 lead after two periods.
Tyler Schultz and Jeff Savage then traded third-period markers to round out the scoring.
“I thought [the game] was one you wouldn’t call a pretty win,” Edwards admitted afterwards. “There weren’t a lot of real nice plays but I thought we outworked them.
“It was a physical game—a lot of good hits on both sides,” he added.
Edwards said their speed and quickness gave the Dryden defenders trouble in their own zone, creating scoring chances.
“We have four lines which can score and I’m pretty happy but we can still do better,” he noted.
The Muskies went into last night’s game fresh off a pair of convincing wins over Red Lake here last weekend. They thrashed the Rams 8-0 on Friday night, then followed that up with a dominating 9-1 victory Saturday afternoon.
Anderson paced the Muskies in the first win with three goals while Kevin Webb, Tom Rose, David Lloyd, Jeff Savage, and Steve Keesic added singles.
Booth earned the shutout in goal.
On Saturday, Adam McTavish and Chris Kellar each scored twice to pace the Muskies while Keesic, Bynkoski, Anderson, Lloyd, and Donald Kellar also tallied.
Brad Carlson was between the pipes in that one.
Edwards said he was pleased with his team’s play in both ends of the rink.
“I thought a few times we threw the puck carelessly out in front but it’s coming. The kids have the instincts to do the right thing,” he said.
Team captain Chris Kellar said the Muskies’ strong play can be attributed to having the option of rolling four solid lines at any time in a game.
“It’s very important to have four good lines, which is great, because most teams go with three lines. And when we’re not tired, then we can wear them out,” said Kellar, who is used at both forward and defence.
“And when we do turn the puck over, we have confidence in our six [defencemen] back there,” he added.