After starting the season by going undefeated in regulation time for 17 straight games, the Nelson Leafs found themselves in unfamiliar territory last weekend.
The locals lost all three of their matches, two in overtime and the final contest in regulation, bringing the streak to an abrupt end.
While some might see that as a setback, Leafs’ head coach Frank Maida said that isn’t the approach his squad is taking.
“After our loss we basically congratulated the boys on a great start,” he explained.
Exhaustion and injuries played a big part in the results.
“Three games in three days and playing with a short bench was a major factor in losing on Sunday.”
But Maida said the team isn’t down about the losses.
“No, not at all. We’re pretty excited about the season. We’ve gone 20 games with only one regulation loss. That’s shaping up to be a pretty good season and that’s what we’ve focused on.
“That’s how we’ve approached this week, we’ve only had one loss.”
The locals are looking to regroup, heading into a pair of road games.
The first takes place tonight in Princeton against the Posse.
Maida said despite the losses, his squad has not prepared any differently this week. The focus, as always, has been on detail.
“We’re paying a lot of attention to detail and getting healthy and getting ready for the weekend.
“We’ve got a couple of minor bumps and bruises. The boys are working on getting healthy.”
The coach feels that snapping the undefeated streak may be a good thing for his team as it releases some of the pressure from his players.
“I think the challenge of, ‘who is going to beat Nelson?’ is over. We have a loss now and that’s some pressure taken off our shoulders. Now we can just focus on our game.”
On Saturday night, the Leafs travel to Osoyoos to take on the Coyotes. Nelson’s next home game is set for Wednesday, November 20 when Grand Forks comes to town. Puck drops at 7 p.m.