Steven Fletcher of Stettler Lightning guides the puck away from opponent Ponoka Stampeders at their second weekend game on Saturday

Lightning build confidence with back-to-back wins

Stettler Lightning made a great comeback from a two goal deficit in their game against Ponoka Stampeders to win it 5-4.

Stettler Lightning made a great comeback from a two goal deficit in their game against Ponoka Stampeders to win it 5-4, on Saturday, Nov. 21.

In the second period although Linden Heidecker and Derek Muhlbach scored to get the Lightning to a respectable 2-4, it was not until the third period that the Lightning boys came back, recharged and determined to make it count.

Muhlbach’s second goal, alongwith Dylan Houston’s score helped Lightning balance the scoreboard, which sent the game to extra time.

In the overtime, Dylan Houston scored within the first 38 seconds to give Lightning the win they were looking for.

“Overall we are happy with the effort we put forth in all three games this week, but more importantly what we are starting to see is the positive results that we have been working for as we are coming out on the right side of the score more often than not,” said coach Gavin Brandl.

Earlier in the week, Lightning played Blackfalds Wranglers, losing it to them 4-2.

“On Tuesday against Blackfalds we found ourselves down 2-0 going into the third despite the fact that I felt we were carrying the play and outshooting them,” explained Brandl. “We were able to even the game up at two which I was happy with because engineering a pushback when we are down is something we have really struggled to do, but ultimately we ended up on the wrong side of what was a fairly even 4-2 game but we saw a lot of good things from our guys.”

Taking the positive energy into their game on Friday, Nov. 20 Lightning took on Red Deer Vipers, bringing them down 5-3, with goals from Chandler Knibb, Muhlbach, two from Houston and Steven Fletcher.

“On Both Friday and Saturday we again found ourselves down heading into the third period despite holding the edge in play but again we saw that when we stick to our game plan, when we play fast and physical, there is no adversity that we can’t handle,” said Brandl. “We scored four straight against Red Deer to win 5-3 and three straight against Ponoka to win 5-4 in overtime.”

“We got big offensive contributions from Derek Muhlbach’s and Dylan Houston’s lines which is what we need, to be successful, but what we’ve also been getting is some really big minutes from the rest of our forwards,” Lightning coach explained.

According to Brandl, Andrew Shirley was a physical monster against Red Deer on Friday, and Lightning got a big goal out of Linden Heidecker on Saturday. Trystin Rebman was “very solid centering our third line all weekend”.

“Depth is huge at this level and when we can confidently throw our third and fourth lines on the ice knowing that they will contribute something positive to the cause it’s obviously a real big boost to our team,” said Brandl. “We have to be down to 25 roster cards by Dec. 1, so we will have some tough decisions to make in the near future, particularly in terms of goalies as we don’t plan on carrying three goalies on the roster much further into the future.”

Lightning is on the road for their next six games and back home against Mountainview on Dec. 18.

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