Lightning preparing to lace up for pre-season

The ice is back at the Stettler Recreation Centre, and the Stettler Lightning Junior Hockey club is wasting no time lacing up their skates.

The ice is back at the Stettler Recreation Centre, and the Stettler Lightning Junior Hockey club is wasting no time lacing up their skates and preparing for this season.

With a training camp coming up later this month, Aug. 26-28, the team is looking to have a preliminary roster ready and practices underway well before its home-opener on Sept. 23, General Manager Doug Smith said.

There will be several changes to the club this year, starting with its board; long-time member and treasurer John Morrison resigned from the board this past spring after more than five years serving in the role, and President Byron Geddes will cede the position at the annual general meeting. It’s expected that Smith, who is vice-president of the board, will toss his name in the hat for the position. The board is looking for more people to join, with the club meeting once a month throughout the winter hockey season.

Several familiar names will be missing from the ice this year as well, as players Steven Fletcher, Derek Muhlbach, Cody Wright and DJ Kistner have all aged out of the junior program. Many names, however, will be familiar when the Lightning take the ice in September, as Smith said most of last year’s roster is looking to play again this year.

Spring training camp went “pretty well,” Smith said, with a strong turn out. “Lots of people are interested in playing for the Lightning.”

Gavin Brandl and Reece Anheliger will return behind the bench, both former players who stepped up to coach after Smith stepped down from coaching two seasons ago. This year, they will be joined by Mitch Finkbiner, though Finkbiner’s participation won’t be full-time as the man has many sports obligations in Castor, Smith said.

Hockey fans who can’t wait until the official home opener can get their hockey fix at several of the pre-season exhibition games. On Friday, Sept. 2, Stettler will face Mountainview at 7:30 p.m. in its first exhibition game of the pre-season, while the remaining four pre-season games take place away. The schedule is available on www.heritagejunior.com.

The home-opener, also against Mountainview, is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23.

 

Heritage Junior Hockey LeagueStettler Lightning