OSHAWA - The Guelph Storm dispersed for home Sunday, smarting from a big loss to the Oshawa Generals but secure in the knowledge that the pre-season goal of a top four finish in the Western Conference is well within reach.
The Storm enters the break with a 17-13-1-2 record, tied for sixth place in the conference, just two points back of fourth-place Windsor.
They are just four wins shy of their total for all last season.
"Obviously it would have been nice to go home on a win. That being said, we don't want to forget what we've done and what we've accomplished," Storm captain Garrett McFadden said.
"We can't be pverly content with the position we're in. We're okay, but we're getting ready to push hard in the second half and we're definitely going to try to get home ice for the playoffs."
McFadden said consistency has been an issue."That's what we need to focus on in the second half, we can't afford to have those bad stretches.
"I think for us we've just got to come together more than we have. We're a pretty tight-knit group and we can't really figure out why this is happening when everyone wants to work for each other," McFadden said.
The Storm hit the break smarting from a pair of one-sided losses on the weekend, the latest Sunday at Oshawa's Tribute Communities Centre where they were soundly beaten 6-1 by a sub-.500 Oshawa Generals squad.
It was a 1-1 game after 20 minutes but Oshawa scored a pair of unanswered goals in the second period and three more in the third to blow the game open.
Nico Daws, in just his third career start, let in all six Oshawa goals on 37 shots. Givani Smith had Guelph's goal.
"I'm not happy with what's happened in the last four games, really, and neither should anybody in that room," Storm coach George Burnett said, nodding toward the dressing room.
"The desire to execute has been lacking for sure," he said.
"We've done a lot of good things but the last handful haven't been near good enough and we've gotten away from some things that we had a lot of pride in early.
"It was fun when we were playing the game the right way and we started to score more goals and I think that's why we've gotten away from being responsible and accountable," Burnett said.
The Storm played Sunday's game without Dmitri Samorukov. He is off to try and make Team Russia for the World Juniors. Liam Hawel and Keegan Stevenson both missed the game with injuries.
Guelph returns to action Dec. 28 when the Peterborough Petes visit the Sleeman Centre.