The Wheatland Kings saw their three-game win streak come to an end last Saturday when they fell to the Airdrie Techmation Thunder 2-1.
Kings Head Coach Doug Raycroft said a lot of the problems that plagued the Kings all year popped up again, as they had to kill 18 minutes of penalty time — almost a full period. He also said the team came out flat in the first period and didn't put together a full 60 minute performance. Despite this, he believes the team still put together a good performance, although there is plenty to work on.
"Even with all those penalties, we held them to two goals. So our penalty kill was pretty good. I think we hit two posts and three crossbars, we had a goal called off. So more than anything, I think in this game getting the bad results was us just not being able to put the puck in the net. But sometimes that's how it goes. You just have to turn the page and be ready for the next game," he said.
While the penalties continue to be a problem, Raycroft said for this game specifically he didn't think the team was making too many bad mistakes or playing carelessly.
"A lot of them weren't really undisciplined penalties. I don't want to get too negative on refereeing, but we weren't getting the calls this game for sure. We had a goal called off as well, so it's just one of those games where a lot of things were going wrong against us."
"When you play aggressive, you're gonna get calls against you. I think that mostly in this game I felt like a lot of penalties weren't selfish, it's one of those things that sometimes you just have to kill some penalties."
While it's never fun to lose, Raycroft isn't overly concerned about this bump in the road, and has confidence the team will work hard to correct what needs to be fixed.
"I hate losing, so we'll just have to keep chugging along. In a full hockey season, it's never going to be a straight line where you get better all the time. There's ups and downs all the time, so we're just hoping the next week we can get some more offense."
The Kings' next games will both be at home this weekend, when they take on the High River Flyers at 8:00 PM on Saturday, before hosting the Red Deer Vipers at 4:30 on Sunday. Raycroft said the team will have to play to its strengths to get back in the win column this week.
"We're a fast team so we have to play fast, I think we just have to be consistent, play fast, stay out of the box. If we can hold the team to three or less goals then we got a good chance to beat anybody in the league. We're going to be looking to get back on the winning side by just really pressuring the teams on our Olympic sized ice, there's a lot of room out there."
When you head to the game this Saturday night the team will be holding their annual food and toy drive for the Strathmore and Wheatland County Christmas Hamper Society!
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