By JIm den Hollander
The Badger Lightning varsity hockey team continues to rewrite history every time it steps on the ice in what is becoming a dream season.
The Lightning continued a four-game winning streak, improved to 4-1 on the season and were led once again by junior goaltender Allysa Gada who hung her third shutout of the season as the local side collected a 2-0 shutout right in Sun Prairie against the rival Cap City Cougars.
Rival might not be exactly accurate as – entering the game – the Cougars had an overall 20-1 record against the Lightning, not including a 3-0 win to eliminate Lightning from the post season last February.
Last and only previous time the Lightning collected a win against the Cougars was more than a decade ago, Jan. 12, 2012. To get an idea of how long ago that occured, the goal scorers in the match were Leigh Stawinoga, Hannah Juckett and Rachel Pawlak.
This time around was no fluke either as the Lightning triggered nine shots each period and outshot its host 27-19.
Teams played through a scoreless opening period before senior captain Kayla Capener notched the game winner from junior Reese Olson. While Capener is closing in on being the team’s all-time leading scorer she also picked up an assist on an insurance goal, the first varsity goal for first year Kyran Merrell about 10-minutes later.
That was more than enough for Gada who stopped all 19 shots faced including 10 in the final period when the home outshot the Lightning 10-9.
The shutout is the third of the season but more impressive, the second straight for Gada who has gone 114:46 without being beat — the last goal coming early in the third period in Wisconsin Rapids where the Lightning rallied back from an early deficit for a 4-3 win.
Equally as impressive, the Lightning is doing most of this on the road. Now 4-1 on the season, the last three have all come away from friendly fans.
The Lightning will look to continue its streak and awesome start to the conference season when they welcome the 3-1 (2-0) Rock County Fury Friday at Pierce Park Pavilion. With previous wins against Beaver Dam and the Icebergs, the Lightning are 3-0 in the conference and will play both the Metro Lynx and Viroqua Blackhawks as well as a return match with the Fury, before the Christmas Break.
This is easily the best start to the conference season ever for the Lightning and if they can rattle off another win Friday against the Fury it might not be too early for talk of the team’s first ever Badger Conference title.