Stettler Lightning have had their four-game winning streak snapped on Sunday, Oct. 19 when the Northern Division leaders Airdrie refused to give up their leadership in the standings and handing in a 4-1 loss to their hosts at the Stettler Recreation Centre.
The fast-skating, well-coordinated Airdrie opened scoring early in the first period and despite a response from the Lightning in the 12th minute through Dylan Houston, continued to pull ahead in the second period with two more points as Stettler defense just got caught up in momentary lapses, capitalized on by the visitors.
In the third period, when the goalie was withdrawn by the Lightning coach to increase the chances of scoring, Airdrie scored once again into the empty net sealing the final outcome.
The loss to the division leaders came after two wins during the course of the week, 4-2 against Ponoka on Wednesday, Oct. 15 and 4-3 over Red Deer, both being road games.
In Ponoka, in a very rough and tense game, during which players picked a total of 30 penalties, Lightning established its domination in the second half of the first period and never looked back. Ryan Strome opened the scoring for the Stettler side in the first period, followed by Logan Davidson and Reese Anheliger in the second and Logan Davidson putting another number in the last two minutes by sending the puck into the empty net.
In the Red Deer game, the Lightning staged a spectacular comeback after trailing in the first two periods and scoring three back-to-back goals in the third to claim the points from the game. DJ Kistner scored in the second period to keep the Lightning in the game and paved the way for the comeback in the last period when Mark Dietz, Ryan Strome and Scott Ternes scored one each with defense refusing to let Vipers to get to the Stettler net.
General Manager and Head Coach Doug Smith was impressed with the comeback effort in the Red Deer game.
“Our speed of the game was not something they were comfortable with. We were wearing them down and wearing them down,” he said with regard to the first two periods.
“I thought it was a really good effort and I really appreciated it,” Smith said.
As for the Airdrie game, Smith said they knew it would be a tough game given Airdrie’s record.
“They were very good at nullifying what we were trying to do,” Coach Smith said.
“This was our first real baptism by fire as they kept pressure on us throughout the game.”
Stettler Lightning was playing Blackfalds Wranglers as the Independent went to press on Tuesday evening, Oct. 21.