Assiniboine Cougars reveal National Championship banner at home opener against Ontario rivals this Friday | Assiniboine Community College
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Assiniboine Cougars reveal National Championship banner at home opener against Ontario rivals this Friday

Assiniboine Cougars reveal National Championship banner at home opener against Ontario rivals this Friday

Written On: 07 November, 2019
Category: Athletics Community

2019 American Collegiate Hockey Association Women's Division 2 Champions, the Assiniboine Cougars return to Brandon's Sportsplex this Friday, November 8 for a blockbuster match up against two-time national champions, Lakehead University Thunderwolves from Ontario. 

The Cougars are currently undefeated in the 2019-20 season, with 7-0-0 scorecard going into this weekend's matches. 

"We've played three league games and four exhibition games, with seven wins so far this season. Right now, we're a good hockey team, and as the year develops, we're going to get better," said Assiniboine Cougars Head Coach Tony Bertone. 

"We came into the year with nine new players and five returning from the Championship team. We have the right mix of athletes who can handle the school work and hockey load while working as a team." 

The last time the Cougars played Lakehead University was in the 2019 ACHA Semi-final in Dallas, Texas where the Cougars triumphed, 2-1, securing their first-ever Grand Final appearance where they would go on to claim their maiden National title. 

"It was a hard-fought win, we went into the third period down, one nothing. I told the girls don't give up keep pushing, once we get the next goal, we'll tie it up and then win the game and that's what happened, we won the game 2-1. They bought in." said Bertone.  

This Friday night is the Cougars home opener where their 2018-19 National Championship banner will be unveiled. Admission is free with a student ID or for children 17 and under to Friday night’s game, so invite your friends and family to enjoy an evening out supporting Brandon's National Champions.

Bertone is looking forward to seeing the unveiling of the banner and the turnout of Brandon fans, however, once the puck drops, it's all business. 

"We'll enjoy the moment but as soon at the festivities are over it's time to work. We've got a job at hand. We want to get back to Dallas to defend our title."  

Lakehead are an opposition known for their strong offensive plays and high calibre of coaching staff, having claimed to back-to-back National titles in 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. 

"We're not going to be caught gazing at the banner, we're going to focus, we're playing Lakehead who have a good team and are strong on the ice," said Bertone. 

"The girls work hard in practice, learn the systems and apply them in-game, I can't ask any more of them." 

The first lucky 150 supporters through the door will receive a free Assiniboine Cougars Cowbell to show their support with during the game! The Cougars are providing delicious free pizza, popcorn and pop between 5.45 p.m. and 6.45 p.m. because being a Cougars fan can be a hungry business.

The Cougars have an experienced line up bringing with them valuable knowledge and leadership on and off the ice. The Cougars are tight-knit group, again, this year as they look to defend their title; however, it's not all about the wins.

"Everyone wants the championship, and I tell the girls, I want you to have life experiences at ACC. If they win a championship, that's great, but if you push and push as far as you can, that's great as well. 

"Whatever goals our players set for themselves, I want them to push their boundaries and achieve as much as they can. When they look back and see the ACC program, they can proudly say "I was a part of that." said Bertone.

There will be lots of prizes given away throughout the night, so be sure to wear your Cougars gear to show your support. All the action gets underway from 6.10 p.m. with the 2019 Championship banner unveiling, O' Canada and then puck drop at the Sportsplex rink. 

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