The Westlock Warriors had a rough weekend and posted only a single goal in 7-0 and 6-1 loses to the Bonnyville Pontiacs and Daysland Northstars.
Warriors’ Nathan Brown scored the lone goal of the weekend early in the third period of their Oct. 23 road loss to Bonnyville — the club now sits with an 0-3 record in the North Central Hockey League.
Team manager Joe Kuhar pulled no punches when he described their difficulties.
“Overall we played alright, but the biggest issue we have right now is that we can’t score goals,” said Kuhar. “That’s really the difference in allowing ourselves to pick ourselves up.”
While he wasn’t using it as an excuse, he noted that the Warriors were contending with a greatly-reduced roster.
“We came to Bonnyville with an extremely short bench and missing a lot of our top guys,” said Kuhar.
“Some of our guys are farmers and they’ve got to combine. The weather is little nicer now, so they’re going. It’s one of those things, you’ve got to go with what you’ve got.”
The 6-1 loss in Bonnyville was the second low-point of the weekend for the Warriors, who were also defeated 7-0 in their Oct. 21 home opener by the Daysland Northstars.
In that battle, goaltender Marcus Johnson stood on his head, but he was unable to stop the onslaught. The Northstars opened scoring up in the first period when Derek Wolbeck snuck one past Johnson just after seven minutes in, followed by a goal in the second by Grayson Soprovich.
But things really unraveled for the Warriors in the third period with five unanswered goals.
Despite of the losses, Kuhar noted that the Warriors are not down and will improve.
“We’re working as a team and we’re working together and trying to find that chemistry,” said Kuhar. “It’s a team effort and a team loss and everybody striving and working hard to put those goals in the net so we can move forward.”
Kuhar added it was pretty clear what their focus in practice will be.
“Shooting. A lot of shooting and getting a lot of traffic to the net. That’s where we’re lacking and that’s where we’re going to focus our efforts,” said Kuhar.
“We’ve got to gain our confidence and we’re taking positives from every game.”
The Warriors next hit the ice at home on Oct. 29 in a battle with the Eckville Eagles — the puck drops at 8:30 p.m. The following day the club heads to Whitecourt to face the Wild.