The Muskie boys’ hockey team will host the International Falls Broncos on Tuesday night in round one of their annual “Battle of Borderland” exhibition showdown.
But more importantly, the game will mark the first time fans can get a look at this season’s young Muskie squad—comprised of 16 first-year players.
Game time is 7:30 p.m. at the “Ice for Kids” Arena, with tickets costing $5 for adults and $3 for students.
Last season, the Muskies swept the home-and-home series with the Falls, winning here 8-3.
After being stifled in Kenora last Tuesday in a season-opening 4-1 loss, the black-and-gold’s offence came alive during their weekend split in Sioux Lookout.
Forwards Jordan Wilson, Andrew George, Terry Kellar, and Jamie Krukoski have made the best first impressions offensively so far.
Matthew Gamsby and John Zub have been splitting duties between the pipes.
Muskie head coach Glen Edwards said a game with the Broncos is a good opportunity for his team to experience the faster style of Minnesota hockey, something they encountered at the annual Warroad Scrimmagefest two weeks ago.
“The Falls will have a very quick team. They’ll put a lot of pressure on us,” said Edwards, whose team will play a handful of Minnesota schools this season, including another exhibition game here Friday against Chisholm.
The black-and-gold also will play in an invitational tournament in Duluth next month.
The Muskies resume NorWOSSA action next Tuesday (Dec. 4) in Dryden, then will host their league home-opener Dec. 7-8 versus Red Lake.
Meanwhile, the Muskie girls are in the midst of a two-week break between games. The team is 0-2 overall after dropping a home exhibition game to the Falls and their first-ever NorWOSSA game in Kenora.
But head coach Pat Dittaro has been pleased with the play of his team, which will nearly double their game schedule from their inaugural season last year.
“In terms of skills and enthusiasm, this is a lot better start than they had last year,” he said.
The girls also will face the Eagles up there next Tuesday before hosting their NorWOSSA home-opener Dec. 7-8 against Red Lake.