The struggling Ridge Meadows Flames lost a pair of weekend games, and have only an overtime win in their past five contests.
“We have not lived up to the expectations we had at the start of the season,” said coach and general manager Jamie Fiset.
Friday night in Abbotsford, they lost 4-2 to the Pilots.
Then on Saturday in Mission, they fell 3-0 to the Outlaws.
It was a pair of weekend games that saw them approach the midpoint in the 44-game season.
After 21 games, the Flames are 8-13, and are tied with Mission at 16 points for the last playoff spot in the Harold Brittain Conference.
Four teams of the five in the conference qualify for post-season play.
Fiset said the standings are so close that if a team goes on a nice run of wins, it will vault up the standings.
But the Flames can’t get on a roll.
In Mission, the Flames scored with 45 seconds left in the first period, and the referee signalled a goal. But after a conference at centre ice, the ruling was reversed, as an official said the shot hit the crossbar. That’s the kind of poor luck the team has been having, said Fiset.
The Flames outshot Mission 14-11 in the second period, but still came up empty handed, and trailed 2-0 after the second.
“In the third period, they trapped us out, and we really had problems getting into their zone,” said Fiset.
Jordan Rendle took a vicious hit, Danny Wilson fought to stand up for his teammate, and all of the sudden the Flames were trailing and without two of their top scorers for the remainder of the game.
That’s how it’s been going, said Fiset.
Grant Rostvig had a goal and an assist against Abbotsford, and Boston Colley also scored.
The Flames will take on the Aldergrove Kodiaks on Friday night at Planet Ice, in a 7:30 p.m. start., then on Saturday they will host the Pilots in a 7:45 start.
“Our guys care – a lot,” said Fiset. “Changes are coming. Nothing radical, but more of an adherence to hard work.”
Fiset said it will be a dogfight for every position in the playoffs.
“I think we have a whole lot of good hockey ahead of us. Working hard consistently is going to be the key.”