Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gold rush for Muskies

Double gold in 2014 is where it’s at when it comes to our national sport.
Mirroring the efforts of Team Canada in Sochi at the recent Winter Olympics, the Muskie girls’ and boys’ hockey teams captured their respective NorWOSSA crowns by sweeping the best-of-three finals.

Amber Jourdain’s second-period goal at 7:41 was the difference in Fort High’s 4-3 win in Game 2 yesterday afternoon over the host Dryden Eagles.
The black-and-gold had taken the series-opener 3-1 here Saturday night on Kaily Greengrass’ natural hat trick.
It also means for the first time in the team’s 14-year history, the Muskie girls are headed for the OFSAA ‘AA’ championship, which runs March 18-21 in Sudbury.
“We’ve come a long way,” said a thrilled Jourdain, who walked out of the corner untouched and roofed a backhander past Eagles’ goalie C.J. Jolicoeur to make it 4-1.
“I’m so happy all our hard work is paying off,” she added. “This feels amazing.”
Katie Sinclair, Hailey Clendenning, and Lauren Vold had the other goals for the Muskies, who finished the NorWOSSA schedule with a perfect 19-0 record (winning all 15 regular-season games than then four more in the playoffs).
Elizabeth Carter scored short-handed in the second for the Eagles before captain Martina Wintle netted a pair 46 seconds apart midway through the third to turn a cakewalk into a nail-biter.
But Kate Parsons, who started both games in the final, made two key stops in the dying minutes to preserve the lead and the title.
“I’m very proud to be part of Muskie history,” beamed Parsons.
“Now we get to go to OFSAA and represent Fort Frances,” she enthused.
“Everyone is ecstatic.”
For Muskie head coach Scott Clendenning, the team’s inaugural NorWOSSA title is the exclamation point on what has been almost a 15-year journey for the program.
“From the people who were part of the grassroots of the program and started things to all the coaches and everyone involved, they were all part in creating what we have today,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the Muskie boys capped off their march to yet another trip to the all-Ontarios by dumping the host Kenora Broncos 7-3 last night in Game 2 of that series.
The black-and-gold had opened the best-of-three showdown with a 7-1 win here Thursday night.
Graeme Kitt and Tyler VanUden each notched a pair of goals to lead Fort High while Malcolm King, David Pryde, and Sam Tibbs added singles.
The OFSAA ‘AA’ boys’ championship will run March 18-21 in Burlington/Oakville.
“Everyone played their heart out tonight,” said Kitt, who opened the scoring and then had a highlight-reel effort in the second to make it 3-0.
“I’m so happy to be part of this group,” he added. “We’re so close, we’re like a band of brothers.”
Muskie head coach Jamie Davis said he was speechless after winning NorWOSSA in his first season behind the bench of the team he used to play for.
“These guys work so hard every day,” he lauded.
“They’re the only ones that know what they go through and what’s expected,” Davis added.
“It’s pretty unreal.”
Jonah Johnson got the call between the pipes for Game 2 after Derek Kaemingh earned the win in the opener.
“This is my first time going to OFSAA and it’s going to be a fun experience, for sure,” said Johnson.
Seedings and schedules for the two provincial tournaments are expected to be announced by week’s end.

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