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Recap of Aberdeen Wings amazing season that ended one win short of another Robertson Cup

Wings record-setting season ends with disappointing loss in NAHL championship game
Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 11:17 PM CDT
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BLAINE, MN (Dakota News Now) -Well had this been a regular playoff series perhaps the Aberdeen Wings would have found a way to break through against the Shreveport Mudbug defense.

But in a one game, winner-take-all championship, they faced the one team that was capable of shutting down their high octane offense, which is why the Robertson Cup won’t be returning to the Hub City. “I thought we were in an uphill battle from the start, you know, with the way they were officiating the game. But we just didn’t get the bounce. They seemed to get a couple bounces that went there way. When you’re playing one game, winner-take-all, the team that gets the bounces is going to get the win,” Wings Head Coach/GM Scott Langer says.

“We didn’t get shots on them right away and they capitalized on the kill. We were undisciplined and, I mean, it’s tough because you want to get those back. But, with a one series game, it’s now or never, and that’s just the way it goes,” Wings Forward Payton Matsui says.

It’s an empty end to a season in which the Wings won basically everything else, including a league record 51 of their 56 regular season games.“This team here is one of the best teams the North American League has ever seen. We proved that through the course of the year,” Langer says.

“I wouldn’t give this season up for anything in my life. I’m going to look back on this season and just remember these guys, remember this coaching staff that believed in me and yeah, there’s nothing else to be said. We didn’t compare ourselves to the team that won it, we just wanted to do it for each other,” Matsui says.

Matsui, who won the NAHL forward of the year award, is one of 13 players who Scott Langer will have just three months to replace with the 2021-22 season is expected to start in September. “It’s not a whole lot of time to put the pieces together like you’re used to having and this year is a unique season. We’re going to go right back to work this week and we’re going to build another one,” Langer says.

After their second Robertson Cup Championship Game appearance the Wings have now been on both sides of emotional games.

Yet despite this result it seems clear that the franchise is in good hands with the leadership and, with their fervent fan support, there’s a pretty good chance they could get back here in years ahead.

With the Aberdeen Wings in Blaine Minnesota at the Robertson Cup Championship I’m Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.

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