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Photo courtesy Beaver Brae High School/Facebook

Broncos end 11-year championship drought

By Randy Thoms Feb 25, 2024 | 12:13 AM

The Beaver Brae Broncos upset the defending champion Fort Frances Muskies 5-4 at the Ice for Kids Arena in Fort Frances to win the NorWOSSA boys hockey championship for the first time in eleven years.

The win sends the Kenora high school to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations’ AA boys hockey championship to be played in Brooklin, beginning March 19th.

It is the Broncos first NorWOSSA title since 2013.

Heading into the game, the Muskies finished first overall in the regular season with a record of 7-1-1, while the Broncos were third at 5-5.

The Broncos were the only NorWOSSA club to defeat Fort Frances in regulation time during the regular season.

In the champion game, the Broncos took a 1-0 lead in the first period after Brady Redsky scored on a penalty shot 12 minutes into the frame.

The penalty shot was called after a goalmouth scramble led to one of the Muskies covering up the puck in the crease.

Klyde Laplante tied the game six minutes in the second when he picked up a loose rebound ten feet in front of the Broncos net and snapped it stick-side past the Broncos netminder James Sinclair.

Two minutes later, Ozzie Hansen found himself alone at the side of the Broncos net with a loose puck that he shoveled in to give the Muskies their first lead.

Evan Radcliffe evened the score for Beaver Brae with just over five minutes left in the period when he snapped a shot from the top of the right face-off circle past the Muskies netminder Karson Loughrey.

Aiden Jean restored the Muskies’ lead 2:30 later after Sinclair failed to corral a point shot from Austin Mosbeck, leaving Jean with the opportunity to put it into the yawning cage.

Less than 30 seconds later, Redsky scored his second of the game to bring the score to 3-3 after 40 minutes.

Evan Radcliffe put the Broncos back in front 11 minutes into the third, capitalizing on a Muskies giveaway in their end.

The Muskies drew even again when Ashton Armstrong fired a shot from the point to allude Sinclair with just under six minutes remaining.

However, a penalty to Armstrong less than a minute later would prove costly.

A shot by the Broncos’ defenceman Lane Van deRittering would find its way into the Muskies’ net with four minutes remaining.

The Muskies would pull their netminder in the final minute but could not capitalize.