The Guelph Storm didn't have a whole lot to be thankful for Monday afternoon at Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
The Storm fell behind 4-1 in a brutal first period and never regained their footing, losing 8-4 to the Kitchener Rangers.
Five of Kitchener's goals came on the power play, but only one of those in that nightmare first period when Kitchener scored four goals on 12 shots.
"We have to defend if we want to compete in this league ... our defence has to play defence and our forwards have to work back," said coach Jarrod Skalde.
"The thing is, I thought we were good offensively - cycling the puck and creating chances. But for some reason, it was a big contrast in our zone. The compete level wasn't there. Guys weren't doing their jobs and the defence all wants to jump into the play and get pucks. We paid the price for it," Skalde said.
The Storm's defensive zone coverage in the first period was in utter disarray.
After Guelph led 1-0 early on a goal by Luke Burghardt, the Rangers pumped four in a row past starting netminder Liam Herbst.
But this wasn't all on the overage netminder. In its own end the Storm looked like they were playing pond hockey the way everyone wandered around.
"Defensively, we kind of shut down," said Burghardt, a two-goal scorer on the night. "It's a team effort. Forwards and 'D' work together. We just have to start becoming more of a team and then better things will come."
The four goals were it for Herbst, who was replaced by Anthony Popovich to start the second period.
Popovich allowed the other four goals, all power play tallies.
Somehow the Storm still had a chance at the midway the third period, as goals by Ryan Merkley (his first in the OHL on a power play blast to the top corner), Noah Carroll and Burghardt's second of the game made it a 6-4 contest.
But a five-minute high sticking match penalty to Guelph's Jake Bricknell shortly after Guelph narrowed it to a two-goal game pretty much snuffed out any faint hope of a comeback.
Guelph outshot Kitchener 37-30 in the game.
The Rangers were led by a hat trick and five points from Jeremy Bracco.
Guelph native Connor Bunnaman had a pair of goals, giving him five in five games to start the season.
Guelph has now lost three straight. They play in Mississauga on Wednesday night.