The Stettler Lightning were back on the ice this past Saturday, Sept. 6 against the Mountain View Colts in one of the first exhibition games of the season.
The Lightning lost 7-4, but head coach Doug Smith is very happy with the loss.
“A loss like this shows more than if you won 4-1,” he explained. “It really outs weaknesses and strengths quickly in such a quick contest.”
The game was a hard-fought battle between the two teams as they shook off their summer legs and worked out playing with their new teammates.
In the final minute of the third period, the Lightning pulled their goalie to give them a one-man advantage, but it only resulted in the Colts scoring their seventh goal.
Still, the exhibition season is the time to lose games, Smith said.
“Exhibition games are a time to evaluate players and see where we can improve,” he said. “Some guys are playing out of position, and Mountain View has a strong lineup.”
Smith said the old lines from last year, some of which remained intact, quickly fell into the old habits from last season, knowing how each other played and where they’d be.
Several of the rookies showed themselves well during the game as well, Smith said, quickly shaking off the summertime blahs and fitting into the team smoothly.
On Wednesday, the Lightning will face the Colts in a second exhibition game in Mountain View, but will continue the pre-season games in town this Friday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. against Red Deer.