For the second time in a span of a week, and for the third time this season, the Fort Frances Muskies were knocked off by the Kenora Broncos in NorWOSSA boys hockey action on Tuesday night at the Ice for Kids Arena here, with their latest setback coming by a score of 3-2 in a shootout.
Despite the loss, the Muskies were able to gain home ice advantage throughout the NorWOSSA playoffs, as they picked up a single point for taking the game past regulation.
“I’m glad that we got home ice, but I would of much rather have had us get a couple more wins going into the playoffs, but it happens,” Muskies forward Nick Kaun said after the game.
Broncos goaltender Brett Arseneault stole the show between the pipes on Tuesday, as he made a number of huge stops to force a shootout, including a massive glove save on a point shot from Tarryn Romyn with 7.8 seconds left in overtime.
“I didn’t actually see the puck until the last second,” Arseneault explained.
“I was able to hear the shot go off, but I kind of anticipated it was going to be a one-timer, so I was able to go from there I guess,” Arseneault reasoned.
Defender Ryan Meadows scored the game-winning goal for the Broncos in the shootout, while Jed Rattai and Aaron Roy both scored in regulation, as Kenora picked up their first victory over the Muskies in Fort Frances since the 2006 NorWOSSA finals.
“It’s all because of the guys,” Broncos head coach Martin Straight explained.
“They’re riding high right now, they’re working hard and that’s all it is really. It’s the first time we’ve won here in a long time and the guys really wanted it,” Straight added.
Muskies captain Brendan Cawston and Ryan Lundy both lit the lamp in the loss, while at the other end of the rink, netminder Devin Stromness turned in a solid performance.
“I thought we came out a little slow, but when Cawston scored in the second period, that really energized us to step up our game,” Kaun said.
“We just kept coming right at them for the rest of the game, but we just fell short in the end,” Kaun reasoned.
The Muskies will conclude their regular season schedule tomorrow night, when they take on the International Falls Broncos in a 7:15 p.m. exhibition clash at the Ice for Kids Arena.
Following that game, the Muskies will prepare for a three game NorWOSSA semi-final series with the Red Lake Rams, which will get underway here on Saturday, February 26 at 7:15 p.m.