Where’s the panic button?
Strange is the word that comes to mind when speaking of the Trojans men’s hockey season; it might be the only word to describe the consistently dry performance of this historically storied team.
This thread was singing a different tune two weeks ago after the Trojans convincingly swept a weekend series against the Grant MacEwan Griffins. Those victories, along with the return of top line talent Corey Tyrell, would see some life injected back into the lineup—though the comfort of the winners circle would be short lived.
The following weekend saw the Trojans tie their next two contests with the Portage College Voyageurs in what could be described as a slight slip back into old habits – old habits like undisciplined play and a stagnant offense.
A team the Trojans not only needed to beat, but also should have beat, the Voyageurs proved to be just about all the disjointed SAIT squad could handle.
Despite another glimpse of self-sabotage, cooler heads prevailed. No one hit the panic button.
Fast-forward again to last weekend and the tale only gets taller. Dropping back-to-back decisions to the second place Augustana Vikings (10-3-2-3), the Trojans are now the sole proprietors of sixth place in the ACAC standings, boasting a humbling 6-8-0-4 record, and the sub .500 win percentage to go with it – numbers this team has not seen in over a decade.
Fresh off of two losses and into a month long holiday break, the question remains constant: what will it take to right this ship?
“We talked about playing for pride, because we do have that long break coming up,” said Trojans head coach Dan Olsen after Friday’s 4-1 loss at home against the Vikings.
“We didn’t want guys going on holidays already, but it looks like some of them have.”
Saturday’s 5-3 loss was less decisive, and saw the Trojans make a strong third period push after predictably putting themselves in the hole early on with bad penalties and an inability to capitalize on top tier scoring chances.
Trojan forward Trevor Cameron was a bright spot in the winless weekend, netting three points across the two contests—including two of the Trojans three third period markers on Saturday in Camrose.
“Something has to change,” said Cameron. “I know nobody in our room feels good about going into the break like this.
“These were important points and I feel like we handed them to [the Vikings].”
With the holiday break looming, the Trojans now have that time to assess the damage and draw up an escape plan.
A team stocked with talent, the question probably shouldn’t lie in “can they?” but “will they?”