Cougars hockey teams both split pre-season games against Manitoba

Puck is back in town. Pixabay

Seven different Cougars score for the men in pre-season

Both the men’s and women’s hockey teams were representing the Cougars in Manitoba this past weekend in pre-season action. Both teams ended up with a split 1-1 result. For the women, this marks the middle of their pre-season campaign after sweeping Minot State two games to none. The women split their games in polarizing fashion. They lost on Friday night 0-6 but came back on Saturday and picked up a 1-0 win against the Bisons.

For the men, they close their pre-season 1-3 after beginning with losses to Calgary and Saskatchewan. For men’s hockey veteran Tristan Frei, the results in Manitoba were encouraging, especially in their first game.

“I thought we played really well. We scored first and striking first is one of our goals. This year we want to have a really good first period. Second period we kind of let off the gas, but we scored with a minute left to tie it up and the team showed a lot of character winning in a shootout.”

The Cougar men are looking more dangerous than they have in a long time this pre-season. In four games, they had a goal differential of -5, largely coming from a 2-6 loss to the powerhouse University of Calgary Dinos. Their offensive presence was also deep, they had seven different goal scorers across the four games, including two from rookie forward Turner Ripplinger. They also have extra help between the pipes from rookie goaltender Curtis Meger who played in three of the four games, backing up starting goaltender Brandon Holtby. For Frei, the contributions that some of these rookies put together will be instrumental for the Cougars to put together a winning season.

“They all come from programs that demanded winning and effort every night. I think we have five or six new guys who have made great effort in the last couple weeks and have made contributions to the team. They are taking their role and accepting it as of right now they are doing a great job.”

For the men, the team’s ultimate goal is to make the playoffs, and that will start with a good performance against Calgary on Sept. 27.

“Our goal is to make playoffs; we want to have a really good start. The teams we play and the games we play are very winnable. We want to focus on the first weekend and pick up a few wins to set us up.”

Frei understands his role as a veteran in the team’s success.

“I am going to do what I have always done and lead by example. That isn’t just on the ice but off the ice, in the classroom and in the community. My goal for myself is to be the best person I can be, and I want to set an example for my teammates to do the same.”

Frei and his team will play a double-header on the weekend against the dangerous Dinos and will look to avenge their pre-season loss. The Cougar women continue pre-season action over the border in back-to back-action against Bemidji State and St. Cloud State.

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