In what was billed prior to the weekend as a showdown for 1st place in the BCMML, the Okanagan Rockets learned that there is much work to be done if they intend on defending their BCMML title.
The Rockets dropped a pair of games on the weekend in Prince George, 4-1 on Saturday and 3-0 on Sunday to fall 8 points behind the Cougars in the overall standings.
"There are good things to build off" said Rockets general manager David Michaud. "I thought defensively we did a really good job against a talented group, however our work ethic just isn't where it needs to be for us to have the kind of success we expect. Things don't come easy in this league, especially against a top tier team like the Cougars."
The Cougars went into the weekend as the BCMML's top offence, so the fact the Rockets played them tight is something to take away from the weekend. Saturday's game was 0-0 through 40 minutes, while the Rockets found themselves trailing just 1-0 through 40 minutes on Sunday morning.
"Offensively, we just didn't generate enough chances to make ourselves dangerous" said Michaud. "I thought earlier in the season we were paying a price to score ugly goals and typically you get rewarded for that sort of effort, that wasn't there this weekend, as a group we over-complicated things."
The two losses put the brakes on a 5 game unbeaten string for the Rockets who now find themselves in 3rd place with a record of 13-6-1 at the half way point of the season.
The Rockets will now return home to host the North Island Silvertips from Nanaimo this coming Saturday and Sunday at the Capital News Centre.