Musketeers reflect on record-breaking season - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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Musketeers reflect on record-breaking season

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The Musketeers lost in the Clark Cup Finals to Chicago on Tuesday night. The Musketeers lost in the Clark Cup Finals to Chicago on Tuesday night.
SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -

Going into game 5 of the Clark Cup Finals, the general consensus was that the Musketeers had the advantage. Sioux City had made a dramatic comeback in game 4, forcing Chicago to take a long bus ride they didn't want. But hockey is unpredictable and the Muskies were denied a championship.

Sioux City had everyone behind them, including a hockey-record crowd of over 6-thousand fans filling the Tyson Events Center. The game went to overtime tied at 1-1. With 8:20 left in O-T, Chicago's Tyler Gratton fired in the game-winning goal as the Steel win their first-ever title.

The Muskies out-shot the Steel 46-25, but just couldn't close it out.

"I told them I'm proud of them," said head coach Jay Varady. "It's one of the best groups I've ever coached. You don't get here by accident. I had fun every day coming to work and working with them. I'm proud of them and I'll always be proud of them and I'll always remember this group."

"It sucks that things are over in the snap of a finger," said forward Phillip Knies. "Unfortunately the bounce was for them and not for us. It's a heartbreaker but it's part of the game, it's hockey."

The Musketeers set a franchise record with 40 wins this season. They won the Anderson Cup for the first time since 1985, finishing with the USHL's best record. Even with the disappointing finish, it was a season to remember.

"The two years I spent here were some of the best years of my life," said center Brian Rigali. "I'll always have a special place in my heart for Sioux City for sure and it's definitely going to be tough to go."

"Everybody kind of knows that we're not going to play again together," said defenseman Jacob Wilson. "So it's pretty tough and it gets emotional. It's not the way we wanted to end but we're going to spend some time together here and just enjoy each other before we all head our separate ways."

There's not much down time. The Muskies tryout camp starts in less than three weeks.

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