Stettler Lightning gave a lot of hope to both their coaching team and their fans last weekend when they beat Wetaskiwin’s Icemen 7-2 on home ice on Friday and tied 5-5 in their return game on Sunday.
“We started a little bit shaky trying to get too much done too quickly, but in the second and third quarters we did well and we moved the puck well,” said head coach Doug Smith.
“Some of the new players who tried out this year had some good moments, there are definitely things that we have to improve on but there is a nice foundation to build from, that is for sure.”
“It’s a trend I sure would like to see happen” said Smith with reference to the four successive goals which came within a minute of each other at the beginning of the third period.
The game at the Stettler Recreation Centre began with both sides trying to establish their dominance on the ice and the first goal came from the visiting side in the ninth minute of the first period.
The Lightning responded only in the second period when Clayton Herzog scored in the fifth minute. About ten minutes later Cody Smitten added to the score making it 2-1 for Stettler.
It was after the Icemen scored the equalizer in the first minute of the third period that the Lightning shattered the Wetaskiwin defense with four goals in four minutes with Jordan Vincent, Adam McDavid, Orie Spearing and Tyson Glazier adding to the scoreboard.
After the Lightning’s sixth goal, tempers flared and the game came to a halt for about five minutes at the end of which the hosts were handed a six-minute penalty.
Two minutes after the game resumed Mitch Finkbiner closed the scoring with a masterful maneuver around the goal.
As for the game in Wetaskiwin, it was tied 5-5 in overtime and coach Smith said although their goal production was good in the second game, the team did appear to be tired.
“Again we moved the puck well and had to play overtime but again we have a real good base to work from,” he said.
The Lightning plays in Ponoka this weekend and the next exhibition game on home ice is on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.