LIGHTNING STRIKE - Kyler O’Connor of the Stettler Lightning faces Banff Bears goaltender Aaron MacKay during the Lightning’s 4-1 win in their Heritage Junior Hockey League home-opener last Saturday night. The Lightning followed up with a 5-4 win over the host Blackfalds Wranglers on Tuesday

Lightning victorious in home-opener

After opening the regular season with three straight losses, the Stettler Lightning bounced back at the most-opportune time

After opening the regular season with three straight losses, the Stettler Lightning bounced back at the most-opportune time Friday when they knocked off the Banff Bears 4-1 in their home-opener at the Stettler Recreation Centre.

Ryan Graff’s goal midway through the opening period proved to be the winner, as the big Bashaw defenceman fired a wrist shot top shelf to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead.

Scott Ternes, with an assist from twin brother Adam, gave the Lightning the early advantage.

Linemates Kyler O’Connor and Jake Schwarzenberger, into an empty net, also scored for Stettler, which lost 7-5 to the Airdrie Thunder on Friday night.

Simon Thieleman made 16 saves in the Stettler victory. The only goal he gave up was a shot from Per Neuburger that changed direction.

The Lightning fired 36 shots at Banff goaltender Aaron MacKay.

In Friday’s loss at Airdrie, the Lightning got three assists from D.J. Kistner, a second-year junior who has alternated between forward and defence.

O’Connor, Schwarzenberger and both Ternes brothers each had a goal and an assist, while newcomer Dylan Houston netted the other Lightning goal.

Jeff Skaley made 34 saves for Stettler, which trailed 6-3 after two periods.

Aidan Crowther paced the Thunder with three goals and an assist.

The Lightning were scheduled to visit the Blackfalds Wranglers on Tuesday night.

This weekend, Stettler has two home games — on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. versus the Cochrane Generals and at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in a rematch with Airdrie.


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