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Cronin Finishes Off Lightning.

By Mike Hammett WiPH Staff, 12/03/21, 12:00AM CST



The Rock County Fury and Badger Lightning on Thursday night squared off in Badger Conference game in Beloit. The Lightning had gotten off to a good start on the season with a pair of convincing wins over Beaver Dam to start Conference play.

The Fury were seeing their first Badger Conference action after going 2-2-1 in play.

Rock County got a goal from senior Sarah Loerke with 90 seconds left, and withstood a flurry at the end to claim a 2-1 win.

Both teams were images of each other wanting to push the pace but neither could break the seal in the game in the first period until late. On a faceoff in the Fury zone it appeared the puck slid to Fury goalie Olivia Cronin. She looked to have the puck covered but before a whistle could be blown the Lightnings Kayla Kapener got a jab at the puck and it slid slowly over the goal line for a 1-0 Lightning lead.

The Fury finally broke thru late in the second period to tie it. Anna Malone sent a puck off the end board and it bounced out to the left post. Quickly Fury forward Emma Kligora gathered the puck and tucked it in the corner for a 1-1 tie thru 2 periods.

The third period saw a tight game between the teams but no real good looks at the others net.

However with under 2 minutes left the Lightning were whistled for a cross check and the Fury got a power play.

Emma Kligora picked up the puck behind the Lightning net and put it in front. A scrum ensued and the puck went in giving the Fury the lead. Senior Sara Loerke was credited for the goal.

In the final minute the Lightning used their time out and pulled their goalie. They got the puck in the zone and down in front of the net. a lot of action in front and a puck just missing the post on the chaos in front.

With 15 seconds left a faceoff was in the Fury zone. The Lightning  won the draw but were forced along the boards without being able to get the puck deep and the Fury had a 2-1 win.

"In the end we really had to work, but were happy to get the win," said Olivia Cronin ."We have a lot to work on but we'll get there." The Senior goalie was under big time pressure in the final minute but was able to hold off the Lightning making 22 saves.

Lightning goalie Alyssa Gada played well also. she made 32 saves in a well played game.

Rock County takes the show on the road Friday when they visit the Bay Area Ice Bears, while the Badger Lightning host WVU on Saturday.

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