Stettler Lightning had a weekend of disappointing defeats as they fell to Colts 8-3 in Castor on Friday, Jan. 29 and once again to Vipers 7-0 in Red Deer on Monday, Feb. 1.
Colts scored their first goal in their game against Lightning in the ninth second as Evan Ingram ensured that the puck had been netted well.
Dylan Houston scored the first goal for Lightning unassisted and soon gave his team an edge by scoring the second, assisted by Jacob Bottomley and Cody Wright, making it 2-1.
But soon after, Colts took charge of the first period, frequently breaking the Lightning defence and taking the score to 4-2 at the final buzz of the first 20 minutes.
They kept the pressure on Stettler boys in the second period, scoring two more goals as the game slowly slipped away with the scoreboard showing 6-2 for Colts.
The third period was no different, although Linden Heidecker scored Lightning’s third goal of the game, assisted by Steven Fletcher and DJ Kistner.
But, the Colts did not let up as they ended the game with two more scores dealing a heavy blow to Lightning’s hopes of a playoff spot: 8-3.
“If I had to sum up Friday’s game in one sentence, I would say it was a disappointing performance but a fun atmosphere for the boys to play in,” said head coach Gavin Brandl. “We knew coming in that we would probably have a large crowd behind us and we wanted to feed off that energy and use it in our favour.”
Brandl said that he felt like that his team did that for the first 10 minutes or so when Lightning jumped to a 2-1 lead, but then we got caught up in their run and gun style and completely lost their structure and focus.
“We’ve kind of been struck with injury issues over the past few games and it certainly isn’t helping our cause as we push for playoffs but from a pure effort standpoint certain guys need to be commended for showing up, willing to continue to grind every shift no matter how much adversity we are facing,” added Brandl.
With three games remaining, Brandl said that the belief in a playoff chance hasn’t left the group and until they are told that they don’t get to play anymore they will keep their focus on in doing the things they need to do to squeeze as much success as possible out of this season.
In Monday’s game on Feb. 1 in Red Deer against the Vipers, Lightning had no luck either as they were wiped and given a clean defeat of 7-0.
“We had a short lineup again as injury problems continue to hold us down,” said Brandl. “Powerplay continues to be an area of concern for us as we had opportunities to get ourselves into the game but just couldn’t capitalize.”