Jim den Hollander
The Badger Lightning varsity hockey team is looking for a big improvement this season and served notice of that with a 10-1 win in its first of two meetings against the Beaver Dam Golden Beavers at Pierce Park Pavilion on Saturday.
With an additional five players (three freshmen and two sophomores) in the lineup this season, Head Coach Rick Capener has been hoping for a more potent and balanced offensive attack and that appeared to be the case in this game as the team had 13 skaters in the lineup and every one of them collected at least a point.
Leading the charge was junior Mallory Ruhland coming off a before season with the South Central WEHL squad. Ruhland fired three goals and set up another while Katelyn Allen fired her first two WIAA goals and added an assist as well.
Junior Kayla Capener notched a goal and two assists and junior defender Eryn Benson set up three. Senior defenseman Carson Blosenski and forwards Lani Selje and Lily McPherson each picked up a goal and assist.
First-year forward Reese Olson who also played with a South Central WEHL team in the early fall, scored her first varsity goal. Freshman Kayla Garbacz, senior Emily Gunnell, sophomore Madchen Ewig, senior Signe Begalske and Audrey Hanko each picked up an assist in the game.
Sophomore goaltender Alyssa Gada came up big when needed in goal, beaten just once on 10 shots as the Lightning opened the season with a 38-10 edge in shots.
The first game of the pair also counts as a conference match so the Lightning are 1-0 in Badger Conference play now as well.