The Bolts showed their true prowess as they faced Ponoka Stampeders on Wednesday, Dec. 7 handing them a crushing defeat of 8-4.
Quade Cassidy once again took charge and scored the first goal for Lightning, even though the equalizer came in less than four minutes.
Determined to come home with a win, the second period saw the Bolts shatter the Stampeders’ defence as four goals were scored in quick succession by Matt Sylvester, Cayden Spady, Jordan Fisher and Ethan Rost.
Leading 5-1, Lightning was high on morale when the opponents scored their second goal, which spurred the Bolts back into the game with the sixth goal coming from Dawson Beck off Ethan Rost.
Going into the third period 6-2, the Bolts knew they had to hold fort, but that didn’t prevent them from playing a more attacking game, with Ethan Rost scored in the first minute of the third period with an assist from Bryce Cornelissen and Dylan Houston.
By the time Houston scored the eighth goal, the Stampeders’ fate had been sealed with a 8-3 trail, even though they put up a fight till the last minute with the final score reading 8-4.
“Structurally speaking we are pretty happy with where our game is at right now,” said Head Coach Gavin Brandl. “Everyone seems to be on the same page and it is definitely nice to see our offence clicking the way it is.”
Accoridng to Brandl, in the game against Ponoka, particularly, they were facing a goalie they haven’t seen before and he made some really big saves early on.
“But we didn’t let it phase us,” Brandl said. “We kept making plays, getting shots off and most importantly getting traffic to the top of the crease.”
Lightning fail to consolidate their lead against Colts, lose 6-5
Even though in their game against Colts, Lightning put up a brave fight, coming from 0-2 down to take the lead 4-3 in the second period, they were unable to hold on to it.
Great goals from Matt Sylvester and Jordan Fisher in the first period, with Quade Casidy and Ethan Rost to follow in the second period put the Bolts in a commanding position.
However, the Colts were relentless in their pursuit of an equalizer and got their opportunity when they were able to net the puck twice towards the end of the third period, taking the score to 5-4 with the Bolts trailing.
In the third period, Dylan Houston was able to score the much-needed equalizer, but the Colts had their last word in, winning 6-5.
“Against Mountainview we did a lot of good things, special teams were really sharp,” Brandl said. “But I thought through the first 40 minutes we were playing more like we were happy to be in the game and less like we were hungry to actually win it.”
Brandl also added, “We’ve been heaping praise on our young group all season long for how far we have come and how close we are playing the top teams in the league, but now we have to flip that switch where we go from happy to be in close games to not happy with anything less than a win.”
According to Brandl, it just comes down to mindset.
“And with the winning pedigree that everyone in our room has I don’t think it’s a big step for us to take,” Brandl said. “We have a real good opportunity to focus on that this week with Red Deer in back-to-back games.”