The Langdon Blades girls hockey team played in an invitational tournament in Bottineau on Jan. 3-5 call the Cross-Border Tourney. Four teams from the 19U Girls North Dakota league played in the event from Langdon, Bottineau, Crosby and Richland, plus two teams from Manitoba in Birtle and Neepawa. The Blades played great all weekend, beating Birtle in the opening round 2-1 on Jan. 3, then defeating Richland by the same score on Jan. 4. Langdon won the title over Neepawa 3-2 on Jan. 5 in a shootout. Up next for the Blades is a non-conference game at Miami, MB on Jan. 11, then they will play at Watford City, Richland and Crosby the weekend of Jan. 18-19. The girls next home game is Jan. 24 at Dakota Spirit Arena versus Watford City.
In their tournament games at Bottineau, each won was close and very exciting. In their first game versus Birtle, the Blades fell behind 1-0 early in the first period before getting going with an unassisted goal by Emma Field to tie the game after one. Jessi Gellner broke that tie in the second frame with a goal on assists by Field and Alexa Schneider. The Blades defense would make that lead stand up, as goalie Jalyn Buckman would come up with 41 saves in the win. Birtle out shot Langdon 42-14 for the game.
The next day against Richland, this time Langdon would get out to a 2-0 lead, with neither team getting a goal until the second period. Savannah Ullyott lit the lamp for the Blades for their first goal, assisted by Abby Forest. Then in the third period Forest would get a goal of her own, assisted by Ullyott and McKenna Belle. Buckman again would be stellar in the net with 23 saves, and this time Langdon out shot Richland 34-24.
And finally in the title game with Neepawa, it was a rough contest with 12 penalties called, six on each team. Langdon got the scoring started late in the first period when Field scored a shorthanded goal. Neepawa would come be though, scoring the tying and go ahead goals, one each in the second and third period.
But with just less than two minutes left in regulation, Langdon got the puck in the net on a goal by Forest, assisted by Arianna Haraseth. Neither team would score in overtime, so it went to a shootout, where got in the only goal for either team to win the game in thrilling fashion. Buckman had 43 saves in the championship game, and Neepawa out shot the Blades 45-40.