BRACKNELL Bees captain Rob Lamey has warned his team they must stop leaking goals if they are to turn their ailing fortunes around in 2013, writes James Walker-Roberts.
The Hive side have seen their promising start to the season slip away since the departure of talismanic defenceman Marcel Petran in early December.
Since the Slovakian's move to Kazakhstan, Bees have won just two games and, even more alarmingly, leaked 45 goals in the process.
Their poor run of form has seen them slide down to seventh in the English Premier Ice Hockey League, a position they could only climb out of this weekend with back-to-back wins against Swindon Wildcats.
To do that, Bees will have to shore up in defence, and ensure they are not left chasing the game as they have done so many times this season.
"We can't keep being in a position where we have to come back from a deficit," Lamey told the News.
"We have been good at doing it this season but we have to get in positions from the start we can go on to win the games. Psychologically we need to be better prepared before the matches, whatever that takes, we need to be stronger as a team and better in defence.
"We have no problem scoring goals, we are the third in the league at that, but we have to address the amount of goals we are conceding, we have conceded the joint-second most. That is why we are in the position we are in."
Bees' attempts to stop the rot last weekend were not helped by the absences of Jan Bendik, Grant Rounding and Alan Lack.
But they were at least boosted by the arrival of Czech defenceman Pavel Strycek, who impressed Lamey in his two performances against Slough Jets and Guildford Flames.
"Pavel looks like a good player, he hadn't trained with us or played in the UK before and he settled in very well. He gave a good account of himself and hopefully the more he plays with us the better he will get," he said.
The Czech will turn 30 this Sunday, the day that Bees host Swindon at The Hive, and Lamey hopes it can be a special day for more reasons than one.
"The most important games in the league are those against the teams around you in the table, Swindon are one of those, we have to win these games," he said.
"We have some difficult games coming up against Manchester and Basingstoke, it makes it even more important that we get the results against Swindon and take that forward through the rest of the season."