By Jim den Hollander
The Badger Lightning varsity squad is coming off a season of quality as opposed to quantity.
Clearly a team used to play with a short bench, the Lightning compiled a 6-11 record last season and has shown a marked improvement in each of the most recent seasons and ironically, despite playing with just two lines, the Lightning was at its best in the final period, outscoring opponents 26-12 through the final 17-minutes.
With the entire lineup eligible to return this season and maybe five additions on the horizon, the team has the possibility of making another leap in its progress. It’s never easy as the Lightning plays in likely the toughest conference in the state and faces perennial frontrunners like the Cap City Cougars on a regular basis.
The Lightning has a full 24-game schedule for the upcoming season beginning with a tournament on home ice against teams still to be determined. Below is the tentative schedule for the Lightning with Badger Conference tests in bold.
November 26-27 – Home Tournament at Pierce Park Pavilion (two games)
Dec. 3 – vs. Rock County Fury @ Monroe SLICE 7 p.m.
Dec. 4 – vs. Wisconsin Valley Union @ Pierce Park Pavilion 6 p.m.
Dec. 6 – vs. Cap City Cougars @ Waunakee Ice Pond 7:15 p.m.
Dec. 10 – vs. Metro Lynx @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.
Dec. 13 – vs. Viroqua Blackhawks @ Viroqua Community Arena 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 17 — vs. Beaver Dam Golden Beavers @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.
Dec. 21 – vs. Icebergs @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.
Jan. 4, 2022 – vs. Onalaska Hilltoppers @ Onalaska Omni 5 p.m.
Jan. 6 – vs. Medford Raiders @ Simek Recreation Center TBA
Jan. 7 – vs. Rock County Fury @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.
Jan. 11 – vs. Cap City Cougars @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.
Jan. 13 or 14 – vs. Metro Lynx @ Capitol Ice TBA
Jan. 15 – vs. Brookfield Glacier @ The Ponds of Brookfield 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 18 – vs. Medford Raiders @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.
Jan. 25 – vs. Viroqua Blackhawks @ SPARC 7 p.m.
Jan. 27 – vs. Beaver Dam Golden Beavers @ Beaver Dam Family Ice Center TBA
Jan. 28-29 — @ Beaver Dam Tournament – 2 games TBA
Feb. 1 – vs. Warbirds @ Blue Line Family Ice Center (Fond du Lac) 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 4 – vs. Icebergs @ Mandt Community Center (Stoughton) 7:15 p.m.
Feb. 8 – vs. Onalaska Hilltoppers @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.
Feb. 11 – vs Black River Falls Tigers @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.