After starting its 2019-20 season with three games on the road, the Airdrie AA midget female Lightning held its home-opener Oct. 25 against the Calgary Fire Red, at Genesis Place Recreation Centre.
Despite a great start that saw 17-year-old Rachel Selent score in the opening minute, the Fire Red overcame the hosts 3-2. Airdrie’s other goal came from 15-year-old Alyssa McCasey.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better game from my players,” said head coach Shayla Katrick. ‘They took everything I’ve said and did everything I’ve asked them to do. It sucks that we lost, but they played phenomenally. I know if we keep playing like that, it will turn around for us and we’ll start to win some games.”
The @airdriefemaleAA Lightning is taking on the Calgary Fire Red in the AA midget team’s AFHL home opener tonight. Aaaaand they made it 1-0 while I was tweeting this out. Lightning leads after 60 seconds. pic.twitter.com/25BJXZ1wEP— Scott Strasser (@scottstrasser19) October 26, 2019
The loss means the Lightning has a 1-3 record in the Alberta Female Hockey League’s Midget Elite league. The team is currently fifth in the south division, and will play its next game Nov. 1 against the Southern Express, which boasts the same 1-3 record. Puck-drop is at 8 p.m. at Genesis Place.
"We're dealing with a couple of injuries, so that doesn't help, but for the most part, I think we're starting to gel on the ice," Katrick said. "I know the girls have really connected off the ice, so now we just need to bring it onto the ice. It's coming."
The Lightning opened its season with a three-game road trip, but four of the Lightning's five fixtures in November will be played in Airdrie.
Having a chunk of games on home ice will be a "huge" advantage for the squad, according to Katrick.
"I think for the girls, having all the fans there and supporting, that brings a little more 'umph' and intensity," she said.
Puck-drop for the Nov. 1 game is set for 8 p.m.
For a full schedule of Lightning games, visit midgetelite.afhl.ca