Zach Ehnstrom

Zach Ehnstrom (12) comes up the ice during one of last week’s two victories for the Northern Lakes Lightning.

The Northern Lakes Lightning moved its record to 3-1 on the year, picking up a pair of victories last week.

The Lightning beat up on Prairie Centre Jan. 19 7-2 in a penalty-filled game at the Breezy Point Ice Arena. The winners fired 59 shots at goaltender Joe Nedoroscik, converting on seven of them – two each in the first and third period and three in the middle session.

Carter Holtzleicer and Hunter Nybakken each scored twice to lead the Lightning to the victory.

“It was a good-paced game with our special teams showing up big, good balanced scoring throughout three lines and got some solid goaltending from Adler (Hoaglund),” said coach Craig Larson.

Holtzleicer opened the scoring at 12:04 of the first period with Andrew Villareal getting the assist but Prairie Centre evened it up just 14 seconds later on a goal from Brady Cline.

Less than two minutes later, Caiden Kjelstrom scored his third goal of the season from Tyler Seeling and Isaac Peterson to make it 2-1 after one period.

Three tallies in the second put the Lightning out to a nice lead. Holtzleicer got his second of the game from Peterson at 3:15 and Nybakken scored his third of the season from Kjelstrom, a short-handed goal at 5:56 to up the lead to 4-1.

Prairie Center closed it on a goal from Brady Swanson at 7:00 but Nybakken got that one back at 11:52 with Seeling and Erik Larsen getting the assists.

The third period was all Lightning as they got goals at 5:23 from Seeling assisted by Kjelstrom and Colton Craig got a power play goal at 8:25 from Owen Miller and Jake Ince.

Hoagland was in goal and stopped 20 of 22 shots. Meanwhile, the two teams combined for a dozen penalties, Prairie Centre with 7 for 14 minutes while the Lightning had 5 for 10 minutes.

A 3-goal first period led the way as the Lightning won its third game of the young season, a 5-2 road win over Wadena-Deer Creek at the Wadena Ice Arena Jan.22.

Jeremiah Smythe stopped 17 of 19 shots for the Lightning as he gained his first win in goal on the season while his teammates fired 42 shots at Josh Dykhoff.

The Lightning scored 2 goals in the first two minutes, with Jamison St. Claire lighting the lamp just 38 seconds into the game with an assist from Colton Craig. Just a minute and 19 seconds later it was 2-0 as Hunter Nybakken scored his fifth goal of the year from Andrew Villareal and Caiden Kjelstrom.

Two minutes later at 3:59 it was Kyler Couture from Erik Larsen and Kjelstrom on the power play to make it 3-0.

The Wolverines got the only goal of the second period but the Lightning bounced back in the third as Kjelstrom scored his fourth of the year from Larsen on the power play. After a W-DC tally Craig completed the scoring at the 6:49 mark from St. Claire and Carter Holtzleicer. Each team had five penalties, the Lightning for 13 minutes and W-DC for 10 minutes.

Larson was happy with his team’s performance,

“We started strong, jumped out to a 3-0 and it’s tough to come back from that,” he said. “We got a little physical and they had problems. Jeremiah played really well in goal and had a couple of huge stops in the second period.

The Lightning plays Greenway at Breezy Point Thursday.

Northern Lakes              3   0   2 – 5

Wadena-Deer Creek         0   1    1 – 2

Prairie Centre                       1   1   0 –  2

Northern Lakes                  2   3   2  – 7

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