The inaugural Muskie girls’ hockey team will play their home-opener this Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the “Ice for Kids” arena against the Kenora Broncos.
“For sure they are excited,” enthused co-coach Mark Lafleur. “I think they are getting nervous but it will be a good showing.”
Lafleur noted the team has scheduled more ice time to get ready for Kenora. “We are getting there,” he remarked.
“They are excited and Kenora is excited,” Lafleur added. “They will be glad to see some NorWOSSA action.”
Tickets will be sold at the door.
The team had travelled to Warroad to play in a controlled scrimmage tournament last Thursday and held their own.
“They played well,” said Lafleur. “They had a really good game against Roseau—they were really rolling. But in the game against International Falls, they played short.”
“We are really pleased with the performance—they kind of surprised us actually,” admitted co-coach Greg Madill. “Everything went pretty well.”
Lafleur noted the girls lost their legs in the second scrimmage but came back and worked really hard in the third one. That final game against Warroad got rough, he added.
“Probably a little rougher than it should have but that builds a lot of team character,” Lafleur reasoned.
“It did get rough but that is the game,” stressed Madill.
Meanwhile, Lafleur noted the controlled scrimmages gave the coaches a chance to see the team’s pluses and shortcomings.
“We could do our conditioning a little harder—that showed against International Falls,” he said. “Shelly Douglas will be asked to turn the power-skating up a notch.
“Our legs let us down a bit in the second game.”
“It is still early, though, and we can address these issues,” noted Madill. “The passing was well done, the three goalies played exceptionally well, and the break-outs were good.
“We didn’t get to work on those as much as we wanted but the girls picked it up quickly,” he remarked.
“We are happy with what we saw,” agreed LaFleur. “The girls did well in the third [scrimmage].
“We had a good night,” he added. “We went through the entire lineup, we have a pretty good group of kids.”
Lafleur stressed the Muskies have the ability to beat these other teams because they weren’t blown out of the water in any of the scrimmages.
“We are moving in the right direction,” enthused Madill.