Stettler Lightning aims to move up in league standings

Stettler Lightning aims to move up in league standings

‘It’s attainable’ says head coach

By Emily Jaycox

For the Independent

The Stettler Lightning were due for a win, and they got one Oct. 13, at home against the Lomond Lakers, 3-1, shutting them out for the second and third period.

The Lakers put up more of a fight than anticipated, says Head Coach Rory Rost.

“We expected them to be fairly weak … because they are a new team in the league,” said Rost.

“It was a surprise; I didn’t think they’d be that strong.”

Lomond beat High River 3-2 in their last home game, a team that the Lighting lost to 4-6.

Returning vet No. 4 Quade Cassidy scored the first goal of the game in the first period and had two assists.

“He’s one of our better players … it’s good to have him back.”

The Lightning played a good offensive game in the first period, making a total of 21 shots to the Lakers’ 11.

“It was quite the defensive battle the whole game,” said Rost.

No. 15 Jonathan Fournier and No. 24 Reagan Holmes both scored against the Lakers early in the second period.

“In the first two periods, we held them down.”

Then the Lightning started to lose discipline, incurring penalties which slowed the team’s momentum, says Rost.

No. 7 Braydon Whiteford racked up a total of 29 penalty minutes, including a game misconduct for checking to the head and five minutes for contact to the head.

Whiteford is now on the suspended list.

The Lightning’s power plays were two for eight.

No. 1 Davin Nattestad had 31 saves in net.

Having 14 skaters in the lineup was an improvement, but the Lightning could use two or three more bodies to be at full strength, says Rost.

The Lightning lost to the Strathmore Wheatland Kings 5-2 Oct. 19. They beat the Coaldale Copperheads 3-2 in a shootout Oct. 20.

The Lightning are in sixth place in the Northern Division with a 2-5 record.

“Our goal is every two weeks, to move up the league standings,” said Rost.

“I think that’s attainable.”

Strathmore is currently fourth in the Southern Division with a 3-4-1 record.

Coaldale is one of the tougher teams in the league, currently sitting in second place in the Southern Division with a 7-1-1 record.

“We are going to have our hands full with Coaldale.”

The Lightning then has a week or two off before playing against Three Hills, in last place in the Northern Division, and Lomond again, on the road.