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Aberdeen Cougars fall to Mandan

Ema Rehder, of the Aberdeen Cougars girls varsity, far right, shoots the puck on goal around Mandan’s Hayden Mehlhoff, front left, during Friday’s game at Odde Ice Center. Photo by John Davis taken 12/30/2022

The Mandan Braves disrupted the Aberdeen Cougars’ solid start to the season Friday afternoon, slipping out of the Odde Ice Center with a 5-1 victory in girls’ hockey non-league action.

Mandan scored three goals in the opening period, while simultaneously shutting down what had been a potent Aberdeen offense. The Cougars, who suffered just their second loss of the season, scratched out a goal in the first, but could not put the puck away after that.

Allison Woehl slammed home the Cougars’ goal with 5:20 remaining in the period. Assists went to Rachel Siefken and Alli Stoltenburg.

“The girls played hard, which I appreciate, but I didn’t think we were very efficient,” said Cougars’ coach Rob Weinmeister. “This team put relentless pressure on us, which we were not used to, and we did not adjust very well to. It’s something to learn from.”

That pressure from the Braves led to some defensive breakdowns from the Cougars, which led to a couple extra goals. But, Weinmeister said, it also helped bring the team together.

“There’s things we can take and learn from, and that’s exactly why we play these (non-league) games,” he said. “To make ourselves better.”

Aiden Raap, of the Aberdeen Cougars girls varsity, center, tries to get the puck around Jenna Wandler, of the Mandan Braves, left, during Friday’s game at the Odde Ice Center. Looking on at far right for the Cougars is Ema Rehder. Photo by John Davis taken 12/30/2022

Mandan got two goals in the first period from McKenzie Yantzer, one of which came with less than a second remaining in the period. Tayah Myhre, Kaebry Weekes and Jenna Wandler also notched goals for the Braves.

Aberdeen, which had averaged six goals per game coming into the contest, will return to league action today, taking on Sioux Falls in a road meeting.

“I thought (Mandan) skated fast, but we kept up with them,” Weinmeister said. “It’s just that they anticipated everything we were doing and they were beating us to it. So it will be a good challenge (Saturday) to bounce back.”

Mandan 3 1 1 – 5

Aberdeen 1 0 0 – 1

First Period: 1, MAN, Tayah Myhre (Isabella Maliske), 8:29; 2, AC, Allison Woehl (Rachel Siefken, Alli Stoltenburg), 5:40; 3, MAN, McKenzie Yantzer (Madison Hertz), 4:41; 4, MAN, Yantzer (Hertz, Maliske), 0:01.

Second Period: 5, MAN, Kaebry Weekes (Brenna Bayman), 11:39.

Third Period: 6, MAN, Jenna Wandler (Weekes), 11:31.

Shots on Goal: Mandan Braves 35; Aberdeen Cougars 17.

Goalies: Mandan, Trinity Pitzer (16 saves); Aberdeen Cougars, Chloe Vikander (30 saves).

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