The Houston Luckies faced a disappointing defeat last weekend as they fell 10-2 to their Bulkley Valley rivals, the Smithers Steelheads.
The Luckies came out fast and hard, pushing the Steelheads into their own territory early in the first period, drawing two tight chances to be the first on the board.
The Steelheads, looking sluggish and flat footed in the first, couldn’t capitalize on any opportunities to be the first to score and the game headed into the second period with 0 – 0 on the board.
Straight out of the gate, only 33 seconds into the second period the Steelheads flew into the Luckies zone. Getting shut down on their first attempt, Steelheads’ Spencer Brooks made a quick recovery and fired a shot from the top circle and took a 1- 0 lead over the Luckies.
Only 30 seconds later the Steelheads had two on the board and the Luckies frustrations didn’t end there.
“We were really happy with the way the first period went,” Blair Dinelle said.
“A team like that comes into town and you’re 0-0 after 20 minutes is a great spot to be in.”
“We talked about keeping the momentum going and then got a couple penalties against us and gave up a couple goals and then it just escalated from there.”
The second period spelled certain defeat for the Houston Luckies, who’ve lost three of the last four games.
After receiving a few questionable penalties, the Luckies just shut down and became more frustrated as the game went on and just couldn’t recover.
“We’re pretty down, we just fell apart in the second period, we tried not to go out and make a fool of ourselves in the third, played our guts out, whatever we could do with what we had left but as far as I’m concerned some of our defense played really well,” Luckies coach Sam West said.
But the Luckies saw a ray of hope come midway through the second.
On a power play they persevered and managed to tee up a shot from the blue- line, as their forwards rushed the net and pushed one past Steelheads goaltender, Mike Wall.
Still it wouldn’t be enough to scrub out their Bulkley Valley rivals despite a last ditch effort with a second goal in the dying minutes of the game.
“All we can say right now is that we apologies to our fans, that was an absolute embarrassment and you can quote me on this, it won’t happen again,” Dinelle said.
Dinelle said the Luckies need to learn to stay calm when they get into a bad spot and to come out hard for 60 minutes if they want to improve their season going into the future.
Still, he said, it’s an emotional game and the Luckies need to keep their emotions under control if they expect to be successful against teams like the Steelheads later in the season.
“We need to stay calm,” Dinelle said.
“It’s an emotional game out there, lots of different personalities on the ice. Emotions run high, we have to learn to stay calm and focus on what we have to do.”
“We have to come out harder and wanting it more than anyone else, that’s going to be the key.”