Coaches always lament putting in a full 60-minute effort and that — combined with a depleted line-up — sunk the Langley Rivermen last week.
The junior A hockey club went 0-3, losing 7-3 to the Chilliwack Chiefs, 7-5 to the Wenatchee Wild and 5-3 to the Cowichan Valley Capitals in BCHL action.
The first two games were road contests while the latter was played at the George Preston Recreation Centre on Sunday.
And while the scoreboard read 19-11 for the opposition, it was a few costly lapses which really did in the Rivermen.
The Chiefs scored two goals in 37 seconds, the Wild struck for three in 53 seconds and the Capitals had a pair of goals 56 seconds apart.
Added altogether, and that was seven goals in a 2:26 span.
“We like our team but we are not playing a full 60 (minutes), we haven’t been getting timely saves, and are taking some penalties,” said Rivermen coach Bobby Henderson.
“It is a combination of things. We need to tighten up and get some key guys back.”
In the first two games, Langley was playing catch-up from the first period on, never able to get back on even terms.
The team improved that against Cowichan Valley, twice battling back to tie the score. But when the Capitals scored their fourth goal midway through the third, the Rivermen had no answer.
The visitors would ice the game with an insurance goal less than a minute later.
Satchel Clendenin scored twice against the Caps while Zac Masson had the other.
One area the team needs to improve is the penalty kill.
Cowichan made Langley pay on Sunday, scoring on four of six opportunities.
It dropped the Rivermen’s penalty kill percentage to .722, third worst in the 17-team league and well below the .782 league average.
Nicholas Ponak led Langley with a pair of goals in the loss to the Wild, while Gavin Payne, Eric Butte and Max Kaufman each had a goal and one helper.
Cameron Ginnetti and Andrew Dumaresque had a goal and an assist apiece and Ryan Barrow had the other Langley goal against Chilliwack.
The Rivermen are back in action with a home-and-home series against Coquitlam tonight (Friday) and Saturday (6 p.m.) They also host Trail on Sunday afternoon (4 p.m.) with the latter two games at the Preston Centre.
“We have seen that we can play with the top teams in the league — we have had competitive games with Chilliwack, Victoria and Penticton — (now) we have to get it together and play a full 60,” Henderson said.
“There is not a lot of negativity with this group. They see their abilities. they know what they are as a group, they are a confident team. It is just taking that next step.”