Kiefer Giroux summed up the kind of night the Victoria Cougars had when he slammed his goal stick over the crossbar at the end of the game.
Defensive miscues, an anemic powerplay, and a case of bad luck led to a 4-2 loss to the Oceanside Generals on Saturday.
Victoria (20-5-1) dug itself an early hole when the hometown Generals took a two goal lead midway through the opening period.
A valiant third period effort would eventually fall short.
Oceanside (11-13-1) got on the board at 10:19 when Marino Somerville slid the puck under Giroux and out front to Taylor Gray. With Giroux out of position, Gray had nothing but net to shoot at.
71 seconds later, sloppy play in front of Giroux by a Cougars defenseman led to an unassisted goal by Dylan Haugen.
Josh Wyatt cut the lead in half with a breakaway goal at 13:55.
Victoria received a two-man advantage less than three minutes later when Connor Allison drove Jake Stolz into the boards from behind. And on the same play, Cam McCarrick was sent to the penalty box as well for being overly aggressive on Stolz.
Michael Gudmandson, who posted back-to-back wins over the North Island Division leading Comox Valley Glacier Kings last week, robbed Mark Walton from in close and Chris Bannister from the side of the net to keep the No. 1 ranked powerplay from getting onto the score sheet.
The Cougars powerplay finished 0-for-5.
There was no scoring until the final minute of the second period. With 14.8 seconds left on the clock, Justin Polischuk took a stretch pass from Nick Bell. Racing up the left side, Polischuk rifled a howitzer over the catching glove of Giroux to give Oceanside a 3-1 lead.
Haugen would score his second of the night at 5:26 of the third period only to have Ben Kinshella pull Victoria to within a pair with 6:53 remaining in regulation.
In the period, the Cougars rang the puck off the goal post twice.
Giroux was pulled for an extra attacker with just over a minute left but the move was futile.
Shots on goal favoured Victoria 44-26 which included outshooting the Generals 18-9 in the first period and 19-7 in the third.
The Cougars will have one full week to find an antidote to cure what ails them.
Next game for Victoria is Saturday, December 10 against the Peninsula Panthers. Game time at the Panorama Recreation Centre, located at 1885 Forest Park Drive, is 7:30 p.m.
1st star, Michael Gudmandson (Saves: 42, Save Percentage: .955)
2nd star, Dylan Haugen (Goals: 2, Assists: 0)
3rd star, Justin Polischuk (Goals: 1, Assists: 1)