By Emily Jaycox For the Independent
With more players home for the holidays, the Stettler junior B Lightning hockey team should have a full squad for their home games this weekend, says Head Coach Rory Rost.
The Lightning will face a new opponent Friday, Dec. 21 at home, playing the Okotoks Bisons for the first time this season.
The Bisons are currently in first place in the South Division with 38 points.
The Lightning are also expecting a tough game from Ponoka at home Dec. 22.
With some good effort and luck, Rost says they hope to get more points up on the scoreboard this weekend.
The team’s recent record has had ups and downs.
The Lightning lost to Red Deer 3-4 on Dec. 7, then defeated the Three hill Thrashers in a blowout 9-2 Dec. 8 at home, and then lost 4-1 against Coaldale on the road Dec. 15.
The game against the Red Deer Vipers Dec. 7 was very similar to the week before, losing again 3-4 in a shootout.
The Lightning had the lead in the third but got into penalty trouble and the Vipers took the advantage, tying up the game.
“We got a point a lot of other teams wouldn’t have gotten, or won’t get from Red Deer,” said Head Coach Rory Rost.
Stettler fared better against Three Hills the next day.
READ MORE: Stettler Lightning lose weekend games
Together, the Rost brothers, No. 11 Erik Rost, No. 14 Ethan Rost and No. 6 Keiran Rost, made a hat trick, each scoring one goal in the game.
No. 4 Quade Cassidy, No. 14 Jonathan Fournier, and No. 9 Rylee Jacobson all had two goals.
Stettler shutout the Thrashers for the first two periods, ending the second period with a 6-0 lead.
Rost says the Lightning put in a “real solid game.”
The win broke a five-game losing streak.
“To win a game was good for the team morale.”
The game against Coaldale came down to a matter of momentum, says Rost.
The Lightning came out of the gate fighting, scoring the first goal of the game at 0:39, by No. 26 Tye Mulgrove from Erik Rost.
It would be the Lightning’s only goal of the game, however.
Rost says a number of the players have been fighting persistent sickness, and being short-handed in the road game, were simply “out of gas” by the third period.
“Momentum seems to be very key in a lot of these games.”
After this weekend, the team is looking forward to some recouping time so they can hit the ground running, starting the second half of the season and into the playoffs in full force, says Rost.