That's the message Langley Rivermen head coach Bobby Henderson is sending to his players as the junior A hockey team looks to win more consistently.
The 'Men went 4-6 in October, and have just two wins to show for their past eight contests.
Henderson put his players through a gruelling skate Tuesday at the Langley Events Centre, delivering the missive that anything less than 100 per cent is unacceptable.
Judging from the tongues hanging from the tired players' mouths as they leaned on their sticks, the head coach came through loud and clear.
"There's a proper way to do things and part of our core fundamentals is when you cut corners, you can't expect results," said the 30-year-old Henderson, a former hard-rock defenceman who played in the B.C. Hockey League with the Chilliwack Chiefs from 1998 to 2003. "When things aren't going well, you don't want to push too hard but at the same time you can't be complacent."
The Rivermen have an opportunity to open November on a winning note tonight (Thursday), when they host the Surrey Eagles at the LEC. Game time is 7: 15 p.m.
The local juniors have little time to rest after tonight's game. They are back on LEC ice on Friday (Nov. 2) when they host the Prince George Spruce Kings, also starting at 7: 15 p.m.
Despite the sub-par October, Henderson saw some good things from his 7-7-0-2 team, that sits in fifth (and last) place in the ultra-competitive BCHL Mainland Division.
"If you look at the games we've been losing, every one has been a one-goal game," Henderson said.
The head coach predicted, "We have a competitive team and we'll come on strong by Christmas."
Inexperience is a factor. The 'Men have nine BCHL rookies in their lineup.
"We've had different parts of our game going every night, but that's not any different than any other team in the league," Henderson said. "In November we have to get all the guys on board. Everybody has to show up to play every night."
The Rivermen are looking to bounce back from last weekend, when they lost two of three.
Coquitlam Express 3, Rivermen 1
Playing three games in as many days for the first time this season was a definite learning curve for the Rivermen.
The rested Express handed the 'Men a 3-1 loss on Sunday afternoon at Coquitlam's Poirier Sports & Leisure Complex.
The Express were missing seven regulars in the line-up including Alex Kerfoot, Zach Pryzbek, and Brandon Morley, who were in Alberta for the Team Canada West evaluation camp for the upcoming World Junior A Challenge.
The home team did not seem to miss them as they put out a complete 60 minute effort.
The Express opened up the scoring 12 minutes into the game on a shorthanded effort from John Siemer. Siemer capitalized on a turnover in the Langley zone and buried a snap shot past Langley netminder James Barr.
The Rivermen had a few opportunities in the opening period, but could not put one by the Express goaltender Cole Huggins.
Shots on goal at one point was 7-2 for Coquitlam, but Langley came back and took a 10-9 advantage into the second period.
The second period was almost a carbon copy of the first as Coquitlam scored the lone goal.
In the midst of a scramble, Justin Georgeson found a loose rebound in front of the goal mouth and knocked home the Express's second goal of the game. Barr made a couple of nice stops with the Express jamming away at the net, but could not get a piece of Georgeson's shot at the side of the post.
Earlier in the period, Langley's Ben Butcher received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a check from behind, but his team would kill it off.
With the Rivermen's backs against the wall in the third period, things did not get started off on the right foot with the Express's Mitch Nardi scoring to give the hosts a 3-0 advantage.
The Coquitlam captain jumped on a loose puck lying in the crease and scooped it past a sprawling Barr.
A few minutes later the Rivermen got on the board for the first time on a goal from Mario Puskarich.
The Florida native continued his fantastic weekend, registering his seventh point of the weekend on a snap shot from the slot that caught Huggins by surprise.
Former Express player Evan Campbell made the play happen as he set up Puskarich on a great pass from behind the net.
Unfortunately for the Rivermen, that was all the offence they could muster the rest of the way.
Rivermen 6, Surrey Eagles 5
The Rivermen dominated on the shots-on-goal department, but barely edged the Eagles on the scoreboard Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
Langley's 6-5 win was a much better effort compared to Friday night's game in Surrey to say the least as the offence - led by Puskarich, Campbell, and Mitch McLain - came to play.
The 'Men came out of the gates guns a blazin' as newcomer Tanner Clarkson, in his first shift with his new team, opened the scoring just a few minutes in.
Clarkson, acquired from Trail earlier in the week, gathered a loose puck and beat sprawling Eagles' goaltender Michael Santaguida for his first goal in a Rivermen uniform.
The Eagles would reply with a tally from Mason Blacklock, who finished off a pretty passing play in the Langley zone.
The Rivermen would get that one back minutes later as McLain spotted a rebound in front of the Surrey goal and potted his third goal in two games.
In the late stages of the period, Puskarich got on the board as he also bagged a loose rebound to give his team a two-goal lead heading into the second period.
It was a fantastic opening period from the home team, which virtually controlled the frame, outshooting Surrey 15-5.
The Eagles turned the ship around in the second period and scored minutes in on a point shot from Jordan Klimek. It was the Langley native's first career BCHL goal and a thrill to get it in his hometown.
With the 'Men up by a single goal, Matt Ustaski made it a two-goal game once again as he tipped home a point shot from Tyler Vanscourt on the powerplay.
The see-saw battle continued with Demico Hannoun and Trevor Cameron scoring back-to-back for the Birds to tie up the game at 4-4. The tying goal would end Langley starting goaltender Darren Hogg's night as he was pulled in favour of Barr.
With time running out in the period, Puskarich capitalized on another rebound goal to give his squad a one goal edge at the end of 40 minutes.
The second period was easily the most entertaining stanza as five goals combined were scored.
The Rivermen clung to their one goal lead all the way up to the 19: 17 mark, when Puskarich capped off the night with his first hat trick of the season into the empty net.
Blacklock scored with seven seconds remaining in regulation, but after that the Eagles ran out of time.
Barr earned the win stopping 11 out of 12 shots, while Michael Santaguida was the losing goaltender facing 37 shots.
Eagles 5, Rivermen 3
In the opener of the home-and-home series, the 'Men did not play very well over the first 50 minutes of hockey, but their final 10 nearly made up for it.
The Eagles came away with a 5-3 win in the first meeting of the sea-son between the two Fraser Valley rivals.
Barr got the call in net for the 'Men, while Santaguida started for the Birds.
The Eagles opened the scoring just over 12 minutes in on a goal from Michael Stenerson.
That was the only goal of the frame as the Eagles took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The second frame was much like the first with Surrey scoring the only marker.
Brady Shaw deposited a loose puck into a wide open net with Barr caught out of position on a rebound.
The Eagles controlled play in the early part of the third frame with Colton Mackie and Brady Shaw scoring to make it a 4-0 game.
Barr was chased out of the game after the fourth goal, making way for Hogg.
The change seemed to spark the Rivermen as McLain scored his second of the year on a rebound in front of the goal to cut the deficit to three.
With less than eight minutes to go and on a power-play, the Rivermen pulled Hogg for the extra attacker to make it a six-on-four and the move paid off.
Mark Whiteley fired home his first career BCHL goal on a long shot from the blueline.
Then, with less than four minutes to play and on another man advantage, the 'Men tried the same thing and pulled the goalie for the extra advantage.
McLain banged home his second of the period to make things really interesting at 4-3, but the Eagles eventually scored the empty net goal to ice the game with nine seconds left.
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