Lightning got their first win of the season in a shootout as they faced Medicine Hat Cubs on Sunday, Sept. 25.
Although the Lightning players went into the game with battered morale, having lost the home opener to Mountainview Colts 11-2 on Friday, Sept. 23, they held on to win.
By the end of the second period, the Bolts had been run over by the Cubs 4-1. Logan Davidson scored the lone goal, with an assist from Mark Bengert.
However, refusing to give up, the boys came straight back into the game with rookies Matt Sylvester, Mark Bengert and Dawson Beck all scoring in the third period, forcing a shootout at 4-4.
At the shootout it was rookie Bryce Cornelissen who netted the puck, while goalie Tanner Thomson successfully blocked all attempts made by the Cubs to score.
Speaking of the Friday performance and the Bolts first loss of the season, Head Coach Gavin Brandl said, “The summary of Friday was that it was an overwhelming experience. The magnitude of ‘home opener against the defending league champions’ had our guys gripping theirs sticks so tight, we forgot to just play hockey and found ourselves watching the game come at us.”
Brandl added that tactically there were no changes needed, but what they didn’t do a good enough job of as coaches was keeping everyone calm heading into the game.
“So that was on me,” said Brandl. “However, Sunday was a much different story.”
Brandl said that the Lightning looked like a completely different team.
“We competed hard, put the puck into open ice and used our speed to create chances,” explained Brandl. “And despite getting put behind the eight ball being down 4-1, we just kept rolling lines out the door and attacking in waves because we knew good things were going to happen.”
According to Brandl, it was really a textbook example of the kind of hockey Bolts need to play to find success.
“Lots of positives to build off of from the first two games, and with a good hard week of practice we will be ready to go when Strathmore comes to town on Friday night,” Brandl added.
The Bolts play Strathmore in a home game on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m.