Lightning Strike Early on the Season

Chelsie Brown
Updated: December 18, 2018 11:02 PM

"We're not a team that's just made up of ninth and tenth graders anymore," said Grand Rapids/Greenway head coach Brad Hyduke.


Hyduke describes this years Lightning team as one who quietly came into the season with confidence and play with a balanced approach.

"We have tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders kind of equally leading the way which is taking pressure off of other groups to have all three areas helping. So defensively, goaltending and with our offense," he added.

"I love that we kind of have an older team. I think we all have played with each other since the beginning of time and we play really well together," said senior defenseman Sasha Stefan.

Returning a majority of their scorers, the Lightning are led by senior Sadie Peart who sits tied for third in points among the state.

"Now that I am one of the oldest, I'm finally holding onto the puck a little bit longer, taking it to the net more and so that's been helping a lot," said the senior forward.

Plus, their defensive core which includes their newest addition between the pipes in Emily Trast helps balance the backside. She sits tied for eighth in most wins among goaltenders in Minnesota.

"We're doing our d-zone really well and I think one of our strongest aspects is our penalty kill. We don't get scored on much," said Peart.

The Lightning's one and only loss this season was against the two-time defending state champions, Edina. However, to play a team like that early on in season was a great test.

"We were just really out of shape. I think we were really worn down, so I'd like to see us get a lot faster and stronger on our sticks," said Stefan.

The Lightning's ultimate goal is to strike come time for playoffs, an area they've gotten burned in the past two seasons so they're hoping to return the favor.

"The memory is there. That's two years in a row where we feel like we've gone to Forest Lake and outplayed Forest Lake and haven't come out on the winning end of it," explained Hyduke about their playoff run.

"Hopefully end their season. Give them a taste of their own medicine and get a good run at Andover too," Peart added.


Chelsie Brown

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