A BRUISING encounter with Solihull Barons left the Deeside Dragons licking their wounds after a 5-2 defeat.
But head coach Steve Fellows is getting his players together for a meeting this week to try to get the team back on track after an early-season wobble that has seen them lose three games already in National Ice Hockey League North Two.
“We started the season well but we’ve had a bit of a reality check recently,” said Fellows.
“I am hoping we can have a discussion as a team which will help us rediscover our form quickly.”
The Dragons have not been helped by injuries. Fellows has been struggling with a rib injury, Brian Worrall picked up a broken nose at Solihull on Sunday and Pete Founds will be out for some time with a dislocated shoulder and ligament damage.
“It’s strange because I’ve played hockey with Pete for years and while I’ve had broken ankles, knee operations and all sorts he has never been hurt,” said Fellows. “He even walked away from a sidecar racing accident in Barcelona. But he took a hit against Nottingham Lions and it really hurt him so he is out for a few months.
“Luckily I was able to bring back Ben Simister, who has been out in Canada, to replace him.”
Worrall’s injury early on against the Barons was another blow, but he set an example to his team by returning to the ice and scoring a goal late on for the Dragons.
“The Barons came out to hurt us,” said Fellows. “Their fans were baying for a fight from the warm-up and they got it. That’s just part of the game. To be honest when the Barons’ Rob Eley challenged Shaun Kippin and Shaun stepped up and sent him sprawling it did us a favour as it lifted us.”
But it was not a great performance as the Dragons never recovered from going 4-0 down, losing 5-2.
“We didn’t score for 52 minutes and that is what is disappointing,” he said.
“That is why we need to address our form sooner rather than later, because we are not going to walk this league, we are going to have to fight for every result.”
The Dragons welcome Blackburn Eagles to the Dragons’ Den at Deeside Ice Rink on Sunday (6.30pm).
There is now a licensed bar open during Dragons games.