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Cougars advance to title game at North Dakota tourney

Rylee Hepper, of the Aberdeen Cougars girls varsity, center, skates with the puck ahead of Watertownโ€™s Rachel Skott, left and Janel Lloyd, right, during the first period of a game earlier this season at the Odde Ice Center. Hepper had a goal in both of Aberdeen's wins at a tournament in Watford City, N.D. Saturday. Photo by John Davis taken 12/18/2022

WATFORD CITY – The Aberdeen Cougars pitched a pair of shutouts Saturday to skate their way into the championship game of the Rough Rider Rumble girls’ hockey tournament in Watford City.

The Cougars rolled past the Crosby Comets 10-0, before edging the Dickinson Outlaws 2-0.

Aberdeen scored four times in each of the first two periods in the victory over Crosby.

Kailyn Poppen finished the contest with four goals and three assists. Alyssa Roehrich added a pair of goals and two assists for the Cougars. Ema Rehder, Rylee Hepper, Rachel Siefken, and Morgan Jones also found the back of the net in the victory.

“The first game we played at a much faster pace than Crosby,” said Cougars coach Rob Weinmeister. “We were able to work on possessing the puck while creating opportunities.”

Aberdeen found the going a bit tougher against Dickinson.

The Cougars scored single goals in the final two periods to secure the win. Roehrich put the Cougars in front in the second period, and Hepper added an insurance goal in the third.

“The game against Dickinson, they were able to match our speed and close some of the passing lanes quicker,” Weinmeister said. “We needed to learn to adjust. They definitely provided a good challenge to us, and as a team we played solid defensively and didn’t give them great opportunities.”

Chloe Vikander stopped all 15 of the shots she faced in blanking both foes.

“Overall, I think there were things we learned today and we can take away to continue to make us better,” Weinmeister said.

The Cougars will face Hazen in today’s championship game.

Aberdeen Cougars 4 4 2 โ€“ 10

Crosby Comets 0 0 0 โ€“ 0

First Period: 1, AC, Alyssa Roehrich (Kailyn Poppen), 14:54; 2, AC, Ema Rehder (Madalynn Witte), 14:00; 3, AC, Rylee Hepper (Rachel Siefken, Raniesa Mattke), 8:03; 4, AC, Siefken (Hepper, Lauren Scheel), :03.

Second Period: 5, AC, Poppen, 10:30; 6, AC, Morgan Jones (Roehrich, Poppen), 9:54; 7, AC, Poppen (Roehrich, Jones), 7:58; 8, AC, Poppen, :13.

Third Period: 9, AC, Roehrich (Poppen), 13:40; 10, AC, Poppen (Roehrich, Jones), 5:58.

Shots on Goal: Aberdeen Cougars 54; Crosby Comets 3.

Goalies: Aberdeen Cougars, Chloe Vikander (3 saves); Crosby Comets, Katelynn Skor (44 saves).

Aberdeen Cougars 0 1 1 โ€“ 2

Dickinson Outlaws 0 0 0 โ€“ 0

Second Period: 1, AC, Alyssa Roehrich (Morgan Jones, Rachel Siefken), 14:06.

Third Period: 2, AC, Rylee Hepper (Ema Rehder), 7:04.

Shots on Goal: Aberdeen Cougars 31; Dickinson Outlaws 12.

Goalies: Aberdeen Cougars, Chloe Vikander (12 saves); Dickinson Outlaws, Olivia Voagen (29 saves).

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