After his team’s 2-1 loss to Forest Lake (10-6-2) on Friday night, Lightning Head Coach Brad Hyduke told his team they need to play all 51 minutes of the game like they played the last 17: With a sense of urgency.
“The last 17 minutes we were buzzing and had opportunities and had [Forest Lake] back on their heels,” Hyduke said. “We’re in the same position we’ve been, which is we can’t finish right now, and it’s going to be up to this group of 18 kids to figure out how they’re going to get that done with three weeks to go.”
After a scoreless first period, Forest Lake’s Lexi Carpenter got her team on the board first. She put a puck past Sydney Helmbrecht (28 saves) at 9:39 of the second period for a 1-0 lead. Her teammate Maddie Kolbow extended that lead just 2:38 into the third frame, scoring on assists from Madi Nolan and Kaitlyn VanTassel to make it 2-0.
The Lightning responded less than two minutes later, when Jordan McLaughlin scored her eighth goal of the season to cut the deficit in half. Meaghen Cemensky and Hannah Schmoll each had an assist on the tally.
But even though the team played with the type of urgency that Hyduke is looking for during that last period, they couldn’t complete the comeback. It was a night, Hyduke said, where crossbars and shooting just over the net hurt them, as Rangers goalie Abbi White finished with 26 saves.
“Real good effort across the board,” he said of the team, now 6-10-1. “Just, we’re at a crossroads in terms of frustration right now where we need to find that little extra that it takes to win these tight games.”
For results from Saturday’s game against Elk River/Zimmerman, head to grandrapidsmn.com. The team’s next game is 7:30 p.m. at Proctor/Hermantown on Tuesday night.