DARREN Bellerby is adamant Renault Solihull Barons can make the play-offs despite seeing his side suffer back-to-back heavy defeats.
Last weekend the depleted Hobs Moat Ice-Hockey side were trounced 12-3 at home to Blackburn Hawks to add to a crushing 13-2 defeat a fortnight ago.
The Hawks took an early lead scoring an easy goal in the first minute of play, but a determined effort by the home team resulted in the Barons leveling the score at 07.07 through Andy Ayres.
Minutes later the home side were back in front with a powerplay goal at 10.22, only to have the score leveled again with a shorthanded strike by Barons forward Rob Eley who sent the netminder the wrong way at 12.57.
Hawks re-took the lead and the key for them was a big middle period where they put five unanswered goals in the back of the net despite the hard work and determined effort by the home team.
The Barons had a much better start to the third period holding their opponents attack until Hawks added to their lead at 48.13.
Despite Rob Ely pulling one back it proved to be only a consolation as the hosts made no mistake with another two powerplays and one even-handed goal leaving a finishing scoreline of 12-3.
Coach Bellerby reflected on his teams last two heavy defeats, saying that on both occasions they were beaten by the better team on the night and that playing a much depleted squad against an A league team was always an uphill battle.
“We have an outstanding spirit within the team, and be in no doubt we will bounce back from these last games,” he said.
“We have shown that we can beat any team in our league as our past results have shown, and our sights are still on reaching the playoffs and with a full squad we can achieve that.”
Renault Solihull Barons next game is away to Blackburn Hawks on January 31 at 5.45pm.