Friday, April 18, 2014

Muskie girls grab gold

The last time they met the Dryden Eagles in tournament play, the Muskie girls’ hockey team experienced tremendous disappointment.
Fort High was bound and determined there would be no encore.

Claire Sandelovich scored in the seventh round of the shootout, then watched teammate Kate Parsons deny Dryden’s Leah Balla, to seal a 2-1 victory in the final of the 2013 Bronco K-Town Classic on Sunday.
It was another chapter in what has become an intense rivalry this season between the two NorWOSSA squads, who have met four times so far, including twice in tournament play and as recently as last Tuesday in a 9-4 Muskie win at the ’52 Canadians Arena.
The previous tourney battle went the Eagles’ way in a 4-0 shutout at the Portage Collegiate Institute Saints Christmas Classic in Portage la Prairie, Man. earlier this month.
After the teams duelled to a scoreless draw through two periods Sunday, Kaily Greengrass gave the Muskies the lead with 8:51 to go in the third on a set-up from Hailey Clendenning and Sandelovich.
But the Eagles stormed back with 3:44 left when Lyndsey Oliphant scored unassisted to put Dryden back on even terms in what was the only goal the Muskies gave up in regulation time in all four games at the tournament.
Overtime solved nothing, which left the gold medal to be decided in the shootout.
Amy Penner put Fort High in front on the Muskies’ first chance against Eagles’ goalie Jacquie Grandmont—a surprise starter in the final ahead of C.J. Jolicoeur, who had blanked the black-and-gold in Portage.
The netminders took over after that, with Parsons stopping Martina Wintle, Liv Carter, and Cara Balla in succession while Grandmont turned away Amber Jourdain, Shilo Beck, and Shelby Tymkin.
Rachel Getson finally solved Parsons on Dryden’s fourth opportunity to tie the shootout.
Grandmont then denied Clendenning while Parsons slammed the door shut on Jess Carter to send the shootout to sudden death.
Katie Sinclair was thwarted by Grandmont, then Parsons shut down Emmy Arsenault, before Sandelovich found a hole in Grandmont’s armour in the seventh round.
That put the game in Parsons’ hands—and the Muskie netminder didn’t disappoint as she blocked Leah Balla’s
last-gasp try, then became the target of a mammoth group hug by her grateful teammates.
Fort High opened the tournament Friday with a 5-0 whitewash of the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora), who lost their third tournament game in three tries against the Muskies this season while being outscored 26-0 in the process.
Tymkin had the lone goal of the first period against Saints’ goalie Gilly Derourard before Sandelovich threw the team on her back and powered forward, scoring four-straight goals, including three in the final stanza.
Clendenning notched two assists while her younger sibling, Calie Clendenning, posted the shutout.
Parsons put up the next zero later that day—a 2-0 blanking of the Red Lake Rams.
The Rams once again nearly pulled off the rope-a-dope approach against Fort High, giving up a ton of shots and puck possession but few goals, as was the case in their 2-0 loss in the final of the Muskies’ home tournament back in October.
Hailey Clendenning finally lit the lamp with 2:24 left in the second before Sinclair added an empty-netter with 21 seconds to play.
Then in the semi-finals against the Westwood Warriors (Winnipeg), a five-goal first period paved the way to an 8-0 Muskie romp.
Tymkin, Beck (power play), Jourdain, Sinclair, and Penner torched Warriors’ goalie Denae Boucher in the opening stanza.
Sinclair then fired back-to-back goals late in the second to complete her hat trick as part of a five-point night before Penner added one more in the third.
Calie Clendenning got the shutout.
The Muskies started their Kenora excursion a day early by dumping the Broncos 8-1 in NorWOSSA action last Thursday night.
Greengrass and Penner each netted a pair of goals for the Muskies (5-0 in NorWOSSA) while Jourdain, Hailey Clendenning, Tymkin, and Sandelovich added singles.
Taylor Alcock had the lone goal for the Broncos.
Parsons earned the victory between the pipes while Becca Mahon took the loss.
In their NorWOSSA win over visiting Dryden last Tuesday, the Muskies turned a 2-2 tie into a laugher with six second-period goals.
Hailey Clendenning racked up a hat trick as part of a four-point night, including the tie-breaker nine seconds into the middle frame.
Her second goalie chased Jolicoeur to the bench at 6:37 of the second in favour of Grandmont.
Greengrass scored twice in that one while Jessica Coran, Sinclair, Tymkin, and Jourdain netted singles.
Wintle had two for the Eagles, with Emmy Arsenault and Jenna Langlais getting the other goals.
The Muskies faced Red Lake in the first of a two-game home series last night at the Ice For Kids Arena (the outcome was unavailable by press time).
Game 2 went today starting at 1:15 p.m.

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