It's one of the hardest things to admit when you've got a good team. Sometimes, there's another team out there that's just a little bit better. Last night, the Muskies found that out the hard way as Waterloo scored two quick goals to take a 2-0 lead into the 3rd.
But the Muskies struck back in the final stanza, pulling within one on this Brandon Hawkins goal.
But Waterloo would regain its two goal lead, and never look back from there. Thanks to goalie Cal Peterson stopping everything in sight. He was the difference in this game. He made save after save after save. Tallying 37 on the night.
The Muskies' season comes to an end at the hands of Waterloo. It's a tough pill to swallow for the guys when they think of what could've been.
"We definitely had the championship caliber team," said Jared Thomas, who's committed to play college hockey for Minnesota-Duluth. "It's just all the pieces didn't come together at the right time and that's just how it is."
"It is frustrating," said Trevor Olson, who's committed to play college hockey for North Dakota. "I thought we could've gone a long way with these guys. We made it to the conference finals but it's unfortunate we didn't make it further."
"I definitely think our team could've gone all the way," said Jake Montgomery, who's committed to play college hockey for Nebraska-Omaha. "But things happen, bounces don't go our way and we're out now. But we had a good season and I'm still proud of us."
"This is a group that really means a lot to me," said Jay Varady, head coach of the Musketeers. "I think they mean a lot to Sioux City obviously by the support we got here in the playoffs. The town really got behind this group, it was a fantastic environment here in the playoffs and down the stretch for this group. I'm really proud of them."
And now with the season in the books, the team reflected on their time in Sioux City.
"It's tough to think about that we'll never be on the same ice again," said Thomas. "But what we accomplished this year isn't something to look past."
"Absolutely, the memories that we all made and the friendships," said Kyle Schmidt, who's committed to play college hockey for Bentley University in Massachusetts. "We were a family here. I think that's what I'm going to miss the most is spending every day with these guys."
"I was talking to my parents yesterday and I said if I had to play in the USHL, the one place I wanted play is Sioux City, so I was lucky," said Avery Peterson, who's committed to play college hockey for Nebraska-Omaha.
"This has been the best organization I've ever played with in my life," said Brandon Hawkins, who's committed to play college hockey for Bowling Green. "And I haven't had more fun playing for a hockey team. So I get to take away the best memories of my hockey career from here."
"I'm so proud of us, said Montgomery. "We came from losing every game at the start of last season by one goal to this year winning almost every night in the regular season and coming into the playoffs and winning the first series. That's why it's pretty upsetting right now, but it's going to be upsetting for a little while, but our group is great this year and I'm just really happy with what we did."