SIOUX CITY — The Sioux City Musketeers have built a family among one another, even though the team hasn’t played an official game yet.
There are some familiar faces back for the Musketeers, and a few of them played in a 5-0 preseason game Monday against the NAHL’s Austin Bruins at IBP Ice Center.
Musketeers coach Luke Strand said that the team is sticking up for one another and holding each other accountable.
When asked if those vibes are similar to the ones last season’s team had, Strand paused, but he did let out a little bit of a smile.
“You build it from the bottom, and that’s where we’re at,” Strand said. “We’re at the bottom. This group is getting tighter and tighter. I’m happy for them.
“They’re sticking up for one another and they’re holding each other accountable,” Strand added. “They’ve found a way to celebrate those small successes.”
One of those successes the team celebrated as a group were the two goalkeepers who combined to shut out the Bruins.
The Bruins took 29 shots on goal, but the two goalies — Chace Hale and Axel Mangbo — held all shots out of the net.
Hale recorded two shutouts with the Belle Tire AAA 18U team last season.
Mangbo also had a pair of shutouts last season over in Sweden.
“We were probably not as sharp in the first game in front of them,” Strand said. “Hale got his first shot at it and Axel coming in from Sweden, and Alex (Tracy) will be in the net Friday. It’ll be a good balance.”
The Musketeers scored thrice in the first period.
Ben Doran got the scoring started with a goal at the 15-minute, 30-second mark.
Charlie Schoen scored the second Muskies’ goal on Modnay, and that came with 13:43 left in the first.
Griffin Ludtke, who scored one goal for the Muskies last season, put Sioux City up 3-0 with 6:36 left in the first period. His goal came on a rebound goal.
Connor Welsh and Dean Bauchiero scored goals during the second period.
The Musketeers will play at 7 p.m. Friday as part of the USHL West Preseason Shootout. The shootout is a three-day event involving all of the divisional foes.
Sioux City plays Tri-City on Friday, then Omaha on Saturday. Both puck drops are at 7 p.m.