Stettler Lightning split last week’s games between a win and a loss with head coach Doug Smith looking forward to this week’s games to consolidate their position in the standings.
The Lightning took on Medicine Hat Cubs at Castor’s Beaver Dome last Friday when the visitors opened the scoring within a minute of the drop of the puck.
The Lightning responded in style with two goals in as many minutes, first with Jacob Schwarzenberger and then with Ryan Staal and the rest of the first period went scoreless. In the second period, Mitch Finkbiner added one and the Cubs responded with one and the Lightning went to the third period with a one-point lead.
In the third period, Cubs scored to bring balance to the scoreboard but the Lightning scored once again to take the lead, until the game clock showed the 18th minute of the last period, when Cubs scored to carry the game to overtime. Yet the Lightning’s Finkbiner was in no mood to extend the game any longer and he scored in the first minute of the overtime to finish the play.
The next day, however, in Strathmore, it was a different story.
The Lightning failed to catch up with swift skating, fast scoring Wheat Kings, losing the game 8-4.
The Lightning points were scored by Jacob Schwarzenberger, Mitch Finkbiner, Todd Potempa and Brett Wold.
“Defensively, we had a few hiccups there which sent us into trouble and then we could never make up the difference,” said coach Douglas.
Referring to the Olympic size Strathmore rink, “There are a few guys that I thought would excel on the open ice but they just did not have their feet with them for whatever reason that day,” Smith said.
Looking ahead, Smith said they would be playing today, Wednesday, Jan. 26 with Rimbey on home ice in a make-up game, which was cancelled two weeks ago due to snowy roads.
Later on Friday, the Lightning take on Red Deer Vipers, in the first of the three games they will play against until the end of the regular season.
Coach Smith said “It is time to make a statement to Red Deer.”
“They may take us lightly because of our record but that is time when you sneak in there and do some damage.”