Lightning turn in great effort but fall short against Cougars

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Badger Lightning came up with its best effort of the season on the right night, but it wasn’t quite enough to garner the WIAA playoff upset on Friday (Feb. 1) as they fell 3-0 to the rival Cap City Cougars at Sun Prairie Ice Arena. 

The Lightning served notice it was ready to step onto a plateau with the Badger Conference’s mid and upper pack teams this past season, pushing the Cougars, Viroqua Blackhawks, Icebergs (Stoughton area) and Rock County Fury to close decisions, but ultimately falling short in every contest. 

Inspired by a game just a couple weeks prior when the Lightning pushed the Cougars to overtime before ultimately succumbing 2-1, the six seeded Lightning entered playoff rematch ready and primed for an upset win. 

Out of the gate, the Lightning took it to the Cougs, outshooting them in a tight opening period by a 5-4 margin, but both teams were scoreless through the first 17 minutes. 

Sophomore Keegan Sanderfoot fired an unassisted regular strength goal halfway through the second period and added two more, both on the only two powerplays the Cougars had in the contest – one in the second period and the other in the third. 

Cougars’ junior Izzy Hahn stopped all 29 shots the Lightning put her way and Lightning sophomore Alyssa Gada stopped 23 of 26 for the Lightning. 

Members of the Badger Lightning have a quiet minute amongst themselves before shaking hands after their final game of the 2021-22 varsity WIAA season at Sun Prairie Ice Arena Friday night.

Unfortunately, the loss ended the season for the 9-14 Lightning while the Cougars (12-11-1) advanced to the WIAA Section 3 semi-finals at Viroqua on Wednesday (Feb. 23) against the host Blackhawks who moved into the round with an 11-0 win against the Beaver Dam Golden Beavers. 

The loss was especially tough for the team’s three seniors: Carson Blosenski, Signe Begalske and Emily Gunnel.

 The other semi will match the top seeded Metro Lynx who enjoyed a first-round bye against the fourth seeded Icebergs who earned 3-1 win against number five Rock County Fury. That game will also be on Wednesday. 

Both winners will move into the Sectional Championship game at Sun Prairie Ice Arena Saturday at 7 p.m. for one of four Sectional Championship spots in the State tournament next week. 

Badger Lightning varsity players head off the ice following a heartbreaking 3-0 loss in Sun Prairie Friday night.

State conteding Lynx handle Lightning

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Badger Lightning varsity hockey team entertained the Metro Lynx Monday (Jan. 24) at Pierce Park Pavilion and found out the talent level of one of the state’s top teams.  

Ranked in the state’s top six all season long, the Lynx grabbed a 4-0 first period lead and never looked back on its way to an 8-0 win. 

The Lynx went to work in the first period scoring three times in 1:58 in the middle of the period on its way to a 4-0 first period cushion, adding two more in the second and third frames. 

Lightning sophomore Alyssa Gada was kept busy with a shots margin of 43-8 for the visitors. 

Pacing the Lynx was junior Anna Faulkner with two goals and an assist while senior Ally Jacobsen added a goal and two helpers.  

The loss dropped the Lightning to 4-8 in regular season play and 3-6 in Badger Conference contests. Next up for the Lightning will be a home Conference game against the Viroqua Blackhawks at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Tuesday (Jan. 25) followed by five straight road contests that will carry the team into February. 

The Lightning has a total of 10 games to play before the regular season ends on Feb. 11. 

Sanderfoot hat trick leads Cougars past Lightning

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Badger Lightning has maintained a record north of .500 through its first five games of the 2021-22 varsity season, dropping its most recent contest, 6-1 against the Cap City Cougars at Waunakee Ice Pond on Monday (Dec. 6, 2021). 

The Cougars are a team the Lightning have never defeated and part of the team’s goal this season was to cut the gap on those teams that have dominated them in WIAA Badger Conference play for the past decade.  

At first glance, a 6-1 defeat might not seem like a step forward but the shots on goal shows a drastic defensive improvement from a team tired of being pushed around on the shot clock.  

The one thing the Lightning couldn’t overcome, at least early, was the play of Cougars forward Keegan Sanderfoot. After scoring twice in the game’s first minute, Sanderfoot wrapped up a natural hat trick later in the opening period as the host Cougars rolled to a 4-0 first period cushion.  

Sophomore goaltender Alyssa Gada endured her first rough period of the season but made up for it, kicking out all but two of the 16 shots she faced the rest of the way.  

The Lightning held a 7-4 edge on the shot clock through the middle period and the margin paid off as junior Kayla Capener fired her fifth goal of the season with assists for Audrey Hanko and senior Signe Begalske.  

Capener has collected at least a point in all five games played for the Lightning this season.  

The Cougars regained control on the shot clock and fired two more in the final period, on its way to a 26-15 edge overall.  

The Lightning fell to 1-2 in Badger Conference play and faced another tough assignment on Friday as the 6-0 (1-0 Badger Conference) Metro Lynx will be in town for another conference test. 

Lightning looking to improve in Badger Conference

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

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.