They were the kind of firm pushes a team planning on defending a provincial championship this spring needed.
The Muskie boys’ hockey team was tested twice by the St. Paul’s Crusaders (Winnipeg) in exhibition games Saturday at the Ice For Kids Arena and then yesterday at “The Duke” (Couchiching Arena).
Both times, the black-and-gold responded positively with a 2-1 win in the opener and a 4-3 overtime victory in the rematch.
Chase McGuire scored on a first-period breakaway, then set up Eric Pitkanen’s game-winner in the third in the first contest.
Matt Booth earned the win in goal.
With Spencer Murphy getting the call in net yesterday, the Muskies trailed for most of the game.
But they tied it late on Mike Drouin’s power-play goal, then won it with a man-advantage marker in the extra session.
Pitkanen played the hero yet again by scoring his second of the game.
The Muskies are back on the ice Thursday when they open play at a four-day tournament in Brandon, Man.
Their next home game is slated for Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the ’52 Canadians Arena against the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora).