Lightning whip Stampeders, but scoreless at Strathmore
It was a feast-or-famine weekend for the Stettler Lightning in the Heritage Junior Hockey League.
At a “home” game Friday night in Castor, the junior B Lightning hammered the last-place Ponoka Stampeders 14-3.
One day later, however, the host Strathmore Wheatland Chiefs blanked the Lightning 3-0.
Stettler (10-20-2) sits sixth in the Northern Division, five points out of a playoff position and 20 points ahead of Ponoka (1-29-0).
In their annual Castor visit, the Lightning opened a 7-1 lead in the first period against the struggling Stampeders.
Jacob Schwarzenberger scored three goals and four points before being ejected from the game in the third period for checking from behind.
Landon Potter’s five-point night included two goals. Tyson Glazier, Reese Anheliger and Tyler Bissett each added two goals, while singles went to Lyle Wooden, Mark Dietz and Kyler O’Connor, who added four points to his team-leading total. Adam Ternes and Blake Frechette each collected three assists.
O’Connor, Dietz, defenceman Steven Fletcher and goaltender Simon Thieleman were the Castor natives in the Stettler lineup Friday in their hometown rink.
Thieleman made 12 saves on 15 shots through 40 minutes before rookie backup goalie Mack Schell stopped all 11 shots he faced in the final period.
The Lightning fired 71 shots at Ponoka goaltenders Aaron Swier and Eli Falls.
Joshua Critch, Cody Lemon and Bashaw’s Nick Holt scored for the Stampeders.
No details were immediately available from Stettler’s shutout loss at Strathmore (15-15-1).
This weekend, the Lightning are back home at the Stettler Recreation Centre for games Friday against the Mountainview Colts (12-17-3) and Saturday versus the High River Flyers (10-18-2).
Friday’s game is an 8 p.m. start, while Saturday’s contest is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
The Stettler-Mountainview game Friday has strong playoff implications. The Lightning trail the Colts by five points in the race for the fifth and final post-season berth in the Northern Division.
Oil Kings suffer 11th straight loss
In their lone game last weekend, the Big Valley Oil Kings lost 8-5 to the Tofield Satellites in Battle River Hockey League action Saturday night at the Big Valley Arena.
It was the 11th straight loss for Big Valley, which is last in the eight-team senior league with a 3-13-2 record. The Oil Kings are two points back of the seventh-place Irma Aces.
At home Saturday, Big Valley led 1-0 after the first period but fell behind 6-2 in the fateful second period.
David Skagen, with two, Brett Ouellette, Landon Jones and Reid Johnson scored the Big Valley goals. Devan Shanks picked up a couple of assists.
Oil Kings goaltender Joel Richard gave up six goals on 22 shots before being replaced by Chance Clark, who blocked 14 of the 16 shots he faced in the final 21:34.
Big Valley directed 34 shots at Tofield goaltender Christopher Roy.
The third-place Satellites (11-6-1) got two-goal performances from Jesse Van Dalfsen, Tyler Hennessey and Chad Urschel.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Big Valley, which hosts the league-leading Daysland Northstars (15-3-0) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Curling club rockin’ with more bonspiels
After hosting the annual Farmers/Farmerettes bonspiel last weekend, the Stettler Curling Club has more action in store for the next two weekends.
The Elks district playoffs are scheduled for this Friday and Saturday, while the Stettler men’s open bonspiel is slated for Feb. 1-3.
Teams interested in entering are asked to phone the Stettler Curling Club at 403-742-3111 or manager Jamie Devnich at 403-742-9892.
Also on tap for February is the seniors’ bonspiel Feb. 14 and 15, and the Rotary provincial playdowns Feb. 21-24.
Wildcats’ JV teams compete at Lacombe
Stettler’s junior varsity boys placed fifth in a JV high school basketball tournament last weekend at Lacombe.
The Wildcats, representing William E. Hay Composite High School, topped Parkland Composite of Edson 57-50 in overtime in their final game Saturday.
In earlier action, Stettler lost a 47-45 overtime decision to West Central of Rocky Mountain House and also fell to “a tough Ponoka team,” reported Wildcats coach Adam McRae.
Stettler’s top scorer was Brandon Mills, with 26 points in three games.
Meanwhile, the Wildcat girls finished fourth in their JV tourney at Lacombe.
“The girls started slow in their first game against Ponoka, but in the second game gained their first win of the season against Morinville,” said Wildcats coach Santana Scarff, who missed the tournament because of sickness.
“On Saturday, the girls fought a tough game against Lacombe, making a huge comeback in the last half of the game.”
In league play last Wednesday, both Stettler JV teams lost to Wetaskiwin.
“In the best game of their season so far, the girls had a tight game that ended in a 48-34 loss,” Scarff said.
The Wildcats’ top scorer was Morgan Van Dusen, with 19 points.
The Wildcat boys were also involved in a fast-paced game, despite their 58-40 loss.
Stettler’s leading point-getters were Mills and Will Hall, each with six points.
After an exam break, league action resumes Feb. 6 at Rocky Mountain House.