It wasn't a very good outing for the PCI Trojans in their final Zone IV Hockey League regular season match Sunday afternoon.
They allowed two goals in the third period and fell 4-3 to the Prairie Mountain Mustangs at the BDO Centre. Even though the score was tight it wasn't a very good game out of the home club.
"We were out of it in the first, second, and third periods," sighs head coach Chris DeLong. "That was the worst I've ever seen us in terms of passing. I don't know why we didn't come prepared but it wasn't here today."
The game meant nothing in the standings with the Trojans three points ahead of the Mustangs. It was, however, supposed to be their tone setter heading into the playoffs.
"The guys knew the importance of this game," says DeLong. "It was supposed to be played like a playoff game, that's what we stressed to them before. We told them after, remember this feeling now because if we duplicate this game's efforts it will be a very short playoff series."
The Trojans got out to a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. Matt Boychuk scored first for PCI four minutes into the game. The Mustangs answered back with a goal of their own at the 10-minute mark of the period. Steven Vey followed that up with a powerplay goal for the Trojans late in the frame to regain their one-goal lead.
The Mustangs were the only team on the board in the second period, and the lackadaisical effort continued from the Trojans.
PCI was handed a gift early into the third period in the form of a weak turnover from Prairie Mountain's goalie that led to a Brandon Page goal. "We really didn't even deserve that one," admits DeLong. "We were really out of it the whole game. We could've had a lot more chances if the effort was there but it wasn't."
The Mustangs tied the game with just under half a period to go, and with :42 seconds left on the clock, slid the game-winner by goalie Parker Page.
Playoffs Kick Off In Carman
The Trojans will face Carman in their upcoming playoff series. It starts tonight at 7:30 in Carman.
"Other than the 10-nothing blowout I feel our chances against the Cougars are really good," adds DeLong. "We played them really tough and lost a close one 3-2 a couple of weeks ago so we can keep up with them. But we can't even come close to playing the way we did today because it just won't work."
Garden Valley and Pembina play Sunday evening to determine eighth place.