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Aberdeen Cougars boys fall prey to rough second period in loss

By By Cuyler Meade cmeade@aberdeennews.com, 01/07/19, 12:30PM CST

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Cougars boys Jones

Aberdeen Cougars forward Braydon Jones, center, races across the blue line with the puck, pursued by Brookings players Maxwell Kjelden, left, and Alec Rice, right, during Sunday’s game at the Odde Ice Center. American News photo by Cuyler Meade

 

Sunday was the kind of loss that, not long ago, this Aberdeen Cougars boys team would have probably celebrated.

That the boys were a bit disappointed in their 4-1 loss at the Odde Ice Center to Brookings is evidence of the distance traveled to get to this point as a team from just a year or so ago.

The Cougars were wishing they could have deleted a disastrous second period wherein they gave up three goals, as they bookended that brutal frame with two excellent periods of aggressive, attacking hockey, playing Brookings to a draw in the first and third periods.

The Cougars were oddly sluggish in the second period, taken a bit out of their game by a poor power play effort early in the stanza and never recovering. Nearly the entire period was played in the Cougars’ own end.

“Got a little back on our heels in the second period,” Aldinger said. “I think we’re a good team, too, and I told our guys, when we forecheck teams, they turn the puck over; when teams forecheck us, we turn the puck over. It’s amazing how that goes.”

The Cougars totaled 15 shots on goal, scoring just the one, and Matthew Feiock defended 31 of 35 shots on the Cougars’ net in a strong effort.

“These guys are out here wanting to get better,” Aldinger said. “They know they can compete with anybody.”

The Cougars have lost three straight by identical scores, 4-1, but still feel strongly about their forward momentum.

“Next week it’s three games for us,” Aldinger said. “Hopefully we get two out of three ... I’d take all three, for sure.”

The Cougars play Friday, Saturday and Sunday at home against Huron, Mitchell and Yankton. They fall to 1-5 on the state season with the loss.

Follow @CuylerMeade_aan on Twitter.

Brookings 0-3-1 4

Aberdeen Cougars 0-0-1 1

First period: No scoring

Second period: BRO, Austin Lesnar (Jamison Honkomp), 9:41; BRO: Maxwell Kjelden (Wes Koenig), 11:25; BRO, Lesnar (Honkomp), 14:34.

Third period: BRO, Ashton Witte (Alec Nielson, Ike Johnson), 9:11; AC, Braydon Jones (Rylan Abel), 13:22.

Goalies: BRO, Philip Kuechenmeister 14 saves; AC, Matthew Feiock, 31 saves.