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The first shift of the game set the tone for the Assiniboine Community College Cougars women’s hockey team on Thursday.

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The first shift of the game set the tone for the Assiniboine Community College Cougars women’s hockey team on Thursday.

Emmalie Thompson found the back of the net just 16 seconds into the first period and the Cougars never looked back as they cruised to a 10-0 win over the Michigan State Spartans in the opening game of Pool C play at the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 2 national championship tournament in Boston.

“Prior to the game, we talked about having a total team effort from the girls and that’s exactly what they did,” Cougars head coach Tony Bertone said.

“Everybody did their part. All three lines dominated on the forecheck and the defence made smart plays to stay out of trouble. It was great to watch on the bench.”

Simone Turner, who is competing in her third national tournament, led the way for the Cougars with five goals and an assist.

“We’ve been more of a third-period team this season so to come out of the gates as strong as we did is really exciting for the rest of the week,” Turner said.

Thompson had two goals and two assists in the triumph, which saw the Cougars hold a 4-0 advantage after the first period and a 7-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.

Madison Haliuk lit the lamp twice for ACC, who got a four-assist performance from Aidan Roberts and a two-assist afternoon from Kasey Fouillard.

Mackenzie Dixon rounded out the scoring and Geneva Penner stopped all seven shots she faced.

Katelyn Cygal got the start in goal for the Spartans but was pulled after allowing five goals on 23 shots in the first 25 minutes. Daria Rorick finished out the contest and made 24 saves.

The Cougars return to action today at 11:30 a.m. against the University of Vermont Catamounts. They opened up their Pool C schedule on Thursday afternoon against the Adrian College (Mich.) Bulldogs.

ACC beat Vermont 4-0 to open the 2022 tournament.

Despite the Cougars’ previous matchup with the Catamounts, Turner says her team has to approach the game with a clean slate.

“The rosters are completely different and you really have no idea what a team is going to be like until you actually get on the ice with them,” Turner said. “All we can do is keep doing what we have been doing and go from there.”

The Cougars wrap up their Pool C slate on Saturday morning against the Bulldogs.

The top team in each of the four-team pools advances to Sunday’s semifinals. The championship game gets underway at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

» lpunkari@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @lpunkari

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