The Badger Lightning hosted the Rock County Fury in a Cancer Awareness game. This game had an additional meaning as they were recognizing Russell Dillin.
Russell turned 10 today, December 1st. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor in April of this year and began treatment in May. Russell dropped a puck at center ice and spent the game on the Badger Lightning bench.
Rock County entered the game looking to rebound from a 4-3 loss on Tuesday evening, while the Lightning were still looking for the first win of the season. The Fury jumped into the lead at 2:57 of the first period, when Anika Einbeck scored with Alyssa Knauf and Dani Heitsman assisting. Seventy seconds later Zoie Steig scored an unassisted goal bumping the lead to 2. Rock County scored with 1:57 remaining in the period as Steig and Maggy Henschler assisted on Ally Burke's goal. Dani Heitsman completed the first period scoring with 56.2 seconds on the clock. The Fury led 4-0 at the end of the first.
The Fury doubled their lead in the second period outshooting the Lightning 14 to 2. Haley Knauf opened the scoring at 8:40 of the period with Einbeck assisting on the goal. Steig picked up her second goal of the evening at 9:58 with assists being credited to Henschler and Ella Silha. Alyssa Knauf picked up the Fury's seventh goal with an assist from Einbeck with 5:16 remaining on the clock. Heitsman picked up her second unassisted goal to complete the second period scoring at 14:25 of the period.
Maggy Henschler completed the scoring for the game at 16:14 of the third period with Anne Runde and Zoie Steig assisting on the play.
McKaylie Buescher completed the game with 11 saves for the Fury. Natalie Buss had 32 saves for the Lightning.
I had a chance to talk to the Lightning's head coach, Sara Durst, after the game. She stated they have 2 first year skater/hockey players on the team this season, including their goalie Natalie Buss. We talked about the team having a total of 11 players and how she could use her experience as a player to help the team throughout the season.
Sara started playing hockey as an eighth grader and can remember as a team having 9 players at games (including the goalie). As you may remember an article shared at the beginning of the season, Sara stepped up to be the coach for the Lightning to ensure they would have a season. Coach Durst will be a title for this season only. She will support another calling as she will be leaving for Marine boot camp on March 19th.
Th Lightning travel to Beaver Dam on December 1st to take on the Warbirds/Beaver Dam team. The Fury will host the Fox Cities Stars on Saturday, December 2nd.