Connect with us
Subscribe Today!

Girls Basketball

Second period burst carries Cougars past Watertown

Phillip Zens, of the Aberdeen Cougars, right, tries to move the puck past Landon DeJong, of the Sioux Center Storm, left, during a game earlier this season at the Odde Ice Center. Zens had a goal and an assist in a big second period in a win over Watertown during the state tournament in Sioux Falls on Saturday. Photo by John Davis taken 2/12/2022

SIOUX FALLS – The Aberdeen Cougars’ season hung in the balance Saturday afternoon, and it felt a bit precarious after the opening period.

The fifth-seeded Cougars trailed eighth-seeded Watertown 1-0 going into the first intermission, but exploded for a 4-goal second period en route to a 5-3 victory in the consolation semifinals of the State Boys’ Hockey Tournament in Sioux Falls.

“It was not our best start to the game,” said head coach Jeremey Backous. “But I thought the boys responded well.”

Austin Dabney got the Cougars on the board early in the second period before Watertown briefly took the lead again.

Aberdeen, however, piled three goals into three and a half minutes of clock time, the final goal coming just 30 seconds ahead of the buzzer to take a commanding lead into the second break. Phillip Zens, Jacob Scheel and Brendan Livermont accounted for those final three goals.

Backous pointed to a bit of relaxation on the ice as the difference between the opening two periods of play.

“Just…not trying to do too much,” Backous said. “That was a bit of our problem (Friday), too, I think. We were just gripping the stick too tight and not letting things happen. Getting that first goal for us really settled things down. Once we started to play loose and relax, the puck started going in the net.”

Plus, the Cougars did not want Saturday’s game to mark the end of the road for their 13 seniors.

“There’s going to come a point in everyone’s career when you have to play that last game,” Backous said. “We did not want that to be (Saturday) for our seniors.”

Kasen Claymore netted the Cougars’ final goal of the game late in the third period to stretch the lead back to two goals.

Aberdeen’s reward is a meeting with Sioux Falls 2 in today’s consolation final at 9 a.m. The Cougars won both regular season meetings with the Flyers, but, as Backous said, that doesn’t matter in tournament play.

“As we’re finding out, the state tournament is a whole different animal,” Backous said. “We have to come ready to play a full game.”

Watertown Lakers 1 1 1 – 3

Aberdeen Cougars 0 4 1 – 5

First Period: 1, WAT, Austin Green (Mason Witt), power play, 12:05.

Second Period: 2, ABR, Austin Dabney (Mason Carrels, Jadon Jorgensen), 2:48; 3, WAT, Witt (Austin McBride), power play, 3:49; 4, ABR, Phillip Zens (Dawson Hepper), 13:09; 5, ABR, Jacob Scheel (Zens), 15:44; 6, ABR, Brendan Livermont (Scheel, Jacob Grau), 16:25.

Third Period: 7, WAT, Ryan Roby (unassisted), 6:02; 8, ABR, Kasen Claymore (unassisted), 12:34.

Shots on Goal: Watertown Lakers 17; Aberdeen Cougars 42.

Goalies: Watertown Lakers, Owen McBride ( 37 saves); Aberdeen Cougars, Carson Hundstad (14 saves).

Purchase a Photo

Browse By Category

Browse By Month

More in Girls Basketball

Subscribe Today!