Consistency key to Lakers turn around

Consistency and offence has been a problem for the Penticton Lakers.

Evan Anderson of the Penticton Lakers fights for space near the Reveltoke Grizzlies crease.  The Lakers won the game earlier this month

Evan Anderson of the Penticton Lakers fights for space near the Reveltoke Grizzlies crease. The Lakers won the game earlier this month

Consistency and offence has been a problem for the Penticton Lakers.

In the four games of their Kootenay International Junior Hockey League schedule leading into the Christmas break, the Lakers went 0-2-0-2 and managed 11 goals while allowing 19.

Lakers coach Robert Dirk said his team hasn’t been consistent the last month. In their last 10 games, they are 3-4-1-2.

“We’ve either been really good or really bad,” said Dirk, whose team lost 8-4 to the Osoyoos Coyotes on Dec. 16 and 5-4 in double overtime to the Princeton Lakers. “Hopefully we can correct that in the second half. Get ready to play good consistent hockey in the playoffs.”

Dirk said the biggest thing is they are struggling to score and players are putting pressure on themselves trying to convert. The Lakers added Sam Nigg, who has one goal and six points in eight games.

“He’s a very talented hockey player,” said Dirk. “He has great hands and great vision.”

Dirk said that Nigg needs a little more time to learn their systems.

The Lakers coach said that the Christmas break is coming at the right time. They were competing well with the top teams in the league at the start of the season.

Lakers defenceman Derek Grimm said they need to get back to playing as a team and being gritty. There is another thing they must do.

“We haven’t been getting pucks in deep and getting more shots,” he said. “Use our speed. We are doing things as individuals.”

The Lakers return to action in Kelowna on Dec. 28. Their next home game is against Kelowna on Jan. 6.