Deeside Dragons head coach Lol Paul believes his side are close to unlocking their firepower after Saturday’s night’s 8-5 defeat at Telford Tigers in an NIHL North Challenge clash.
Fine performances during the first and third periods were undone by a disappointing second session, as the hosts established an unassailable lead.
But with Paul now having assessed his side in a competitive situation, he expects them to realise their potential – starting with next week’s return game at the Deeside Ice Rink.
He said: “The big thing for me is winning 50/50 battles in our own zone and I don’t think we did that well enough. That is where games are decided.
“In the long run, I am happy with our performance. The first and third periods were very good for us, but the game was lost in the second period.
“I think if we have three good periods next week, it will be a very different scoreline.”
The first session saw Deeside take a surprise early lead on four minutes through Adrian Palak, before Telford hit back just 60 seconds later. The hosts gained an advantage with a well-worked goal after 13 minutes, although Deeside drew level almost immediately with a strike from Simon Furnival.
The second period, however, was very much in Telford’s favour, as they built a 5-2 cushion with three unanswered goals. Alex Parry, Furnival and Bryn Roberts hit back for Deeside after the break, but the Shropshire outfit proved too strong during a hard-fought closing session.
Paul added: “These games are all about finding out what fits. Three great players don’t necessarily make a great forward line.
“If we need to switch lines around, we will do that for next week’s game. Once our forwards click, and with the firepower we’ve got, I think we’ll smash the Moralee Conference.”
The two teams meet again on Saturday evening, at Deeside Ice Rink (7pm).