By Jim den Hollander
The Badger Lightning varsity girl’s hockey team made up of players from Sauk County and area high schools opened the 2020-21 WIAA season with a split in a pair of home games and also dropped its first road test.
The Viroqua Blackhawks handed the Lightning a tough 11-3 loss in its opener Thursday (December 3) but the Lightning bounced back in its second straight home game with a 5-2 decision against the Brookfield Glacier on Saturday.
Following that, the Lightning hit the road to the Kettle Moraine Ice Center in West Bend, dropping a 4-1 decision to the Lakeshore Lightning.
Following it a quick look at all three games.
Viroqua Blackhawks 11 @ Badger Lightning 3
Three goals in the opening seven minutes at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo sent the Blackhawks on its way but the host Lightning trimmed the lead to 4-2 by the end of the first period. Another five unanswered in the middle period had the visitors in complete control.
The combination of Bella Bowden and Kayla Capener was a bright spot for Lightning as the pair combined for three points apiece – Bowden with two goals and an assist and Capener with the other goal and a couple helpers.
Lily McPherson was the third member of the combo, picking up a couple assists as well. The Hawks spread out its scoring well, four different shooters notching a pair of goals in the contest.
Kaitlyn Elder was the busiest player on the ice, facing 42 shots in goal for the Lightning.
Brookfield Glacier 2 @ Badger Lightning 5
The Lightning fought back from an early deficit to record its first win of the season Saturday, scoring five straight before Glacier also closed out the scoring with less than two minutes to play in the contest.
Bowden fired her third of the season tying the game with help from Capener and Signe Begalske and Capener put the Lightning in front to stay 1:27 from the end of the opening segment on a feed from Carson Blosenski.
The lone goal of the middle period was the game winner, notched by Mallory Ruhland with help from Lani Selje.
Begalske and Capener fired third period goals, Capener’s into an empty cage with just over two minutes to play. Bowden and Blosenski collected assists on the Begalske goal.
Freshman Alyssa Gada collected the win in her first varsity contest between the pipes, stopping 19 of 21 Glacier shots in a game that saw the home side outshot 21-17.
Badger Lighting 1 @ Lakeshore Lightning 4
This time the Badger Lightning scored first, Bowden finding the back of the net 6:05 into the contest with help coming from Capener and Madchen Ewig.
Jillian Bilsborough’s goal four seconds from the end of the opening period had teams even heading to the middle frame where the Lightning added two more. The final goal came as time expired with Badger Lightning goaltender, Gada on the bench in favor of an extra attacker.
Gada stopped 22 of 25 in goal for the local squad.
Next up – Northern trip
The trip to West Bend kicked off a stretch of five straight road games for the Lightning, beginning with a pair on a Northern swing Saturday. The Lightning will be in Eagle River for a noon faceoff against Northland Pines Eagles, then moves on to Rhinelander for a 6 p.m. contest against the Northern Edge.
Next home game for the Lightning will be on December 22 against the Arrowhead Warhawks at Pierce Park Pavilion with a 7 p.m. faceoff.