Both Muskie hockey teams came away victorious over their upcoming NorWOSSA semi-final opponents, but in two very different ways.
The girls’ squad routed the Warriors 14-0 on Sunday for their 10th-straight league win.
But the journey home became its own drama when the team bus broke down halfway down Highway 502—leaving the team stranded in the middle of the night until a replacement bus could be radioed for by a passing plow truck.
“The bus died in a dead zone for cell service,” head coach Todd Hamilton noted Monday after his team didn’t reach home until 7:15 a.m. after having left Sioux Lookout at 9:45 p.m.
Annalise Hayes and Emma Noga each had five points to pace the top-ranked Muskies (15-1) against the fourth-place Warriors (4-11-0-1), who lost all four games to the black-and-gold this season by a combined score of 54-1.
Rachel Jean, Janelle Kaemingh, Rylee Redford, and Taylor Croswell all scored twice while Abby Plourde and Siobhan Mackintosh added singles.
Sydney Beck made 18 saves for her sixth shutout of the season.
Sioux Lookout now must try for the upset in their best-of-three NorWOSSA semi-final showdown, with Game 1 going tomorrow at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Game 2 is set for Friday in Sioux Lookout, with Game 3 (if necessary) back at the ’52 Canadians Arena on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
As for the Muskie boys, it was a much tighter outcome as they prevailed 5-3 over Sioux Lookout on Friday night.
Head coach Jamie Davis decided to get creative with the 12 skaters he had available, and send a message at the same time, by moving his regular defencemen up to forward positions while moving some forwards back to the blueline for the game.
The Muskies (14-0) overcame the circumstances to remain undefeated in league play as Matt Booth backstopped them to the win.
Colton Bodnar had a pair of goals while Brent Jourdain, Nick Hahkala, and Graeme Kitt (empty net) had singles.
Top-ranked Fort High will open its best-of-three semi-final series against the fourth-place Warriors (7-5-1-2) on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena.
Game 2 shifts to Sioux Lookout for Saturday while Game 3 (if necessary) will be back here next Monday at 7:15 p.m.
Before all that, though, the Muskies will look to cap an undefeated regular season on the road tonight against the third-place Dryden Eagles (8-5-0-1).