The Muskie boys’ hockey team is off to Winnipeg to defend their consolation at the annual Tournament of Champions, which runs Thursday through Sunday.
The defending ‘A/AA’ all-Ontario champs are the only team from NorWOSSA that will compete in the 10-team, two-pool tourney. Also playing will be seven Manitoba-based schools and one team each from Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.
Last year, the Muskies went 3-1-1 at this tournament to settle for the consolation crown. Their one tie came against Silver Heights (Winnipeg), who went on to win the tournament and will be back to defend their title.
Sitting with a 1-5-1 NorWOSSA record, the Muskies are 2-5 against non-conference teams (including tournament and exhibition play). They’ll make a return trip to Winnipeg at the end of the month to play their final invitational tourney of the season.
Meanwhile, the Muskie girls’ hockey team wrapped up a busy week with a 4-2 exhibition loss Monday to host Eveleth-Gilbert.
Muskie Dana Ward opened scoring in the first period before the team allowed two quick goals in the second to fall behind.
Jen Caul scored late in the period to tie the game 2-2 but a turnover during an offensive rush cost the Muskies the winning goal with eight minutes to play.
The hosts added another goal two minutes later to seal the win.
“Eveleth came out really strong in the third,” said Muskie head coach Pat Dittaro. “It was a good game for both teams.”
The girls now have just over two weeks off before visiting the Falls for a Jan. 17 game against the Broncos.
The boys have a home date against the Baudette Bears on Jan. 8, with both teams resuming NorWOSSA play Jan. 18 in Kenora.