After the Guelph Storm lost its fifth straight game Friday night, it was time for a little chat.
After coach George Burnett had his post-game talk with the team and headed back to his office following a 4-1 loss to the Owen Sound Attack at the Sleeman Centre, the players held a players-only meeting.
"I think we're all a little frustrated right now, but we've hashed it out, we just talked about it in there, we don't want to play like this, it's not how we're going to play," said Storm captain Cam Hillis.
"Tomorrow's a new day. We're going to park it here, but if you asked any guy in that room they're not satisfied with how they're playing right now."
Hillis said the players were honest with one another in the meeting.
"There was a point last year where we had a meeting like that and things really turned around. We're just going to focus on playing for each other and supporting each other and see what happens," he said.
Hillis said it's about winning the one-on-one battles and the willingness to compete.
"You've got to put in the work too. It's not going to be easy. The West is a great conference and a lot of teams want to win and it's up in the air right now."
Burnett said the team is getting caught up in the big picture instead of focusing on the little things that helped make them successful the first half of the season.
"I just said to the guys that probably for the first 32 games out of 40 we were a hard working, battling, competing team that played hard for each other and we're not focusing our energy in the right areas right now," Burnett said.
"A lot of stick checks, a lot of circling, a lot of cheating .... we're looking at the big stuff and instead we've got to maybe look at the smaller details."
Also a lack of discipline at times, such as the first period Friday that saw the team's top scorer, Pavel Gogolev, take six minutes in penalties, earning him a brief benching at the end of the period.
Owen Sound led 2-0 after the first period on a power play goal and a shorthanded tally, then went up 3-0 in the second.
It was 4-0 before Cooper Walker broke the Attack's Mack Guzda's shutout bid with just 3:29 left in the game.
It doesn't get any easier for the Storm, who host the red-hot Kitchener Rangers Saturday night then play in Kitchener Sunday afternoon.
And they'll do it without star goaltender Nico Daws, who didn't play Friday and won't play the rest of the weekend due to what appears to be an oblique muscle strain.
Burnett said that Daws will have an ultrasound Saturday or Monday to determine the extent of the injury.
"Owen (Bennett) is playing good hockey for us and we should be working for him. Working to support him better," Burnett said.
Bennett let in a couple of questionable goals Friday, but with the team's offence sputtering it certainly wasn't the deciding factor in the game.
Saturday's home game against Kitchener starts at 7 p.m.