The Outlaws were thumped 8-3 by the Delta Ice Hawks in Ladner on Tuesday, four days after being blanked 4-0 by the Abbotsford Pilots at the MLC.
The good news is, the coaching staff have plenty of material to use for teaching in practice after a pair of tough games.
An inability to clear their zone, which has led to multiple shots against, along with a penchant for giving their opponent able time with the man advantage have the Outlaws sitting 4th in the Conference after nine games.
It’s been a baptism by fire for a young Mission blue line. Comprised primarily of a 15 year old (Jackson O’Brien), a 16 year old (Brendan Saether) and a trio of 17 year olds (Michael Sande, Michael Nemeth and Nikolas Sourtzis), there have been growing pains early in the season which are to be expected.
The veteran forwards need to shoulder the load of blame as much, if not more than their defensive team mates when it comes to breaking out of the defensive zone . Too many times they’ve moved the puck back deeper in their own zone or held on to it for far too long, making the opposition forecheckers job that much easier which has led to the team’s headaches.
We have seen plenty of these examples the past few games.
On Tuesday things started well on the scoreboard. Despite a disparity of shots favoring Delta, the Outlaws struck first 4:23 in.
Baylee Wright gained the zone with the Laws up a man and worked the puck down low. It found it’s way back to Michael Hamm, who fired a shot past Jordan Naylor in the Ice Hawks net. Justin Bowerman with a screen in front, and an assist on the play.
Matthew Trulsen was busy again in net for MCO. Shots were 11-1 Ice Hawks ten minutes in.
Delta scored three times in the First to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The first went in with traffic in front of Trulsen. The second was a failed clearance (led to a bit of a soft shot slipping in). The third a point shot with traffic in front. Shots finished 17-4 Delta after 20 minutes.
The Ice Hawks struck for three power play goals in the Second period, two off the stick of Cam Cuthbert. The Hawks again outshot the Outlaws 14-6.
Goalie Keaton Dyck saw his first action of the year replacing Trulsen late in the Second period. He finished with 20 saves on 23 shots.
The Outlaws did find some positives with the game out of reach, finding the back of the net twice in the final frame.
Baylee Wright took a nice pass from Justin Bowerman and deeked out Naylor, placing a back hand home at 5:13, with Michal Holub garnering the other assist.
Wright struck again at 8:00, with the Outlaws on the power play. While in the slot, his shot lit the lamp with Saether and Holub drawing assists.
The Ice Hawks still added two more goals of their own.
Shots were 52-20 on the night.
On Saturday, Kolby Steen scored twice, added an assist and fought Ryan Sharma in the Second as the Abbotsford Pilots were 4-0 winners at the MLC.
Trulsen made 45 saves as the Pilots went 1/7 on the power play while the Laws were 0/4 while firing 27 on Noah Giesbrecht.
Next up for the Outlaws is a game Saturday against the first place Ridge Meadows Flames. Their previous meeting was a 1-0 win for the Flames a few weeks back.