By Sammie Hill
Although defeating the same team three times within one season remains a difficult task, the Louisville Lightning achieved their third victory over the Cincinnati Kings on Friday, Dec. 16. This rivalry game exemplified the relentless work ethic of the team, for they fought to the last second to ensure an 8-7 victory over the Kings.
Head coach Scott Budnick notes that the Cincinnati Kings had evolved significantly from the team they battled earlier in the season.
“They had the benefit of another month together,” he explains. “We thought that they’d be a little bit more together than the last time we saw them.”
Equipped with this knowledge of their opponent, the Lightning approached the game with intensity. Louisville’s J.T. Murray initiated the scoring, bringing the score to 1-0 with 9 minutes remaining in the first quarter. After the Kings snuck one past Lightning goalkeeper Frank Peabody, Louisville responded with another goal from J.T. Murray, quickly followed by a hit from Nick Judah that brought the score to 3-1 at the end of the first half.
Despite securing an early lead, the Lightning saw a comeback from the Kings in the second half. Cincinnati nearly equalized the score in the fourth quarter; thus, in an attempt to hold on to a 7-6 lead, Othaniel Yanez set up Nick Judah for his fourth goal of the night. Although the Kings earned another goal before the end of the match, Frank Peabody’s spectacular save in the final two seconds solidified Louisville’s 8-7 victory.
This game marked Peabody’s first match back after suffering from a dislocated elbow. After an outstanding game, he stated that “it’s definitely nice to join the team again.” However, the demanding game inevitably took a toll on his energy level.
“It’s difficult with an injury to keep your fitness level,” Peabody revealed. “It’s something that I worked on so that I could come back and help the team.”
A Louisville Lightning veteran, Nick Judah, led the scoring for the team, earning an impressive four goals against the Kings. He recognizes that winning a rivalry game greatly improves the confidence of the Lightning.
“We were able to come out on top,” Judah said. “We were able to come back and beat them again, and it does a lot for our confidence.”
The Louisville Lightning will combat the Cincinnati Kings for the fourth time on Saturday, Dec. 30. The match will take place at the Cincinnati Gardens at 7:35 pm.
Category: Louisville Lightning