It was a rough exhibition game against Wetaskiwin Icemen for Stettler Lightning on Sunday, Sept. 11, as they lost 5-3.
The Icemen stopped the Lightning cold through two periods, despite several opportunities, close calls and powerplays in the second period. As the Lightning became frustrated, their penalties increased through the second and third periods, until Logan Davidson broke through to score against the formidable Icemen. Buoyed by Davidson’s goal, Kieran Rost slipped the puck past the goalie’s stick, and, in the last minutes of the period, Matt Sylvester scored Stettler’s third goal.
However, the Lightning effort was not enough to beat back the Wetaskiwin players, who played a better game and had scored four times, with their fifth goal coming in the last minute.
“The big takeaway for us was the leaps and bounds of improvement made in our defensive game,” Head Coach Gavin Brandl said. “We made it a priority in our systems review over the last week to get everyone on the same page, knowing exactly what their job is and if you were to look at the games last weekend compared to this game we were a brand new team in those aspects.”
Despite the lack of scoring by the team, Brandl said he was pleased with the progress shown and by the game played.
“(I) would have liked to see us shoot more, especially early on,” Brandl admitted, but noted that the players, “Dominated zone time for large stretches in the first half of the game.”
With one more set of exhibition games to go, the regular season is only two weeks away.
“It was a great game from the kids and we can’t wait to get to the regular season,” Brandl concluded.
The home opener is Friday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. against Mountainview.