When the Mooretown Flags of the Great Lakes Junior “C” Hockey League break for Christmas following games against Lakeshore at home Saturday and Blenheim on the road Sunday, only nine game will remain in the regular schedule, with six of them on the road.
“Every game has to be treated with urgency and desperation,” said Flags Head Coach Doug Slipacoff. “You can’t let any points slipped through your fingers.
With only a handful of points separating second and seventh place in the nine-team league, no team can afford a late-season losing skid if it hopes to finish in the top four and have home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, Slipacoff said.
“As long as we show up ready to compete, it doesn’t matter where (home or road) we play.”
The rookie bench boss said his team has worked hard and steadily improved since the start of the regular season, and he’s looking forward to the sprint to the finish line.
He’ll tell his team to forget about hockey and recharge their batteries over the holidays, but to be ready for a late season push when they get back to business.
“Enjoy your time away from the rink because you won’t have much of it come January,” will be his message.
The Ontario Hockey Association trade deadline looms in less than a month but Slipacoff doesn’t foresee much, if any, tinkering to the Flags roster.
“We’re pretty confident with what we have,” he said. “We feel we have the pieces in place.”