Lightning win their first league game

Stettler Lightning brought home their first win in the Heritage Junior B Hockey League from Three Hills last Friday, Oct. 8 after a game which left head coach Doug Smith satisfied with the progress.

But despite the 2-1 win over the Thrashers, the Lightning lost to Coaldale Copperheads the next day 5-1 as a result of some early defensive mishaps in the first period.

Reese Anheliger scored for the Lightning in the fifth minute in the first period against Thrashers in Three Hills, and the hosts responded about 10 minutes later, with the the period ending on 1-1 tie.

The second period was goalless but with just under five minutes from the end of third period, Brett Wold scored for the Lightning.

The game in Coaldale was a bit more complicated.

The hosts quickly created and converted three opportunities in the first period and although the short-handed Lightning responded in the second period with one goal, scored unassisted by Jake Schwarzenberger, Copperheads were quick to score two more to seal the score at 5-1.

“We played a really controlled game in Three Hills and limited the chances they got, and offensively we took the chances as they came along,” said Smith.

“It was a pretty tight game.”

“We also did a good job of penalty killing in there.”

In Coaldale, the puck bouncing from the glass suddenly appeared in front of the Lightning net as the first goal.

“We were all caught by surprise,” said Smith.

Smith said there were two more unlucky situations in the first period.

“In the next two periods we played even with them, considering we had to ward off three serious short-handed situations.

“Overall, throughout the weekend, we did really, really well on the penalty kill,” Smith said.

He also blamed the unusual configuration of the arena in Coaldale for the performance of the team.

“It has square corners and it changes the game if you are not used to it.”

The Lightning now play Banff on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 7.30 p.m. and Airdrie the next day at 3 p.m.

“Banff is one of these teams you can not take lightly, “ said Smith.

“They are on the ice everyday.”

“Airdirie is one of the top five teams in the league and we need to be prepared for both of them.”