The Grandview Steelers will spend the Pacific Junior Hockey League post season in the stands for a second straight season.
The Burnaby Winter Club-based junior B hockey club was officially eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday following the team's 8-2 loss to the Aldergrove Kodiaks.
"This year we still had a chance, but we blew it up on Sunday, when we got beat up pretty good," said Steelers head coach Aldo Bruno.
The loss left Grandview with 36 points, eight points behind the fourth-place North Vancouver Wolf Pack, with just three regular season games left to play.
The Steelers fell behind early in the game Sunday, and were outscored 4-1 over the next two periods despite outshooting the Kodiaks.
The lack of offence up front and inconsistency in goal highlighted the shortcomings that led to Grandview's 17-22-1-1 record this season, said Bruno.
"I think we needed a little bit of both - a little more firepower and better goaltending," said Bruno. "Our goal was to finish in the top three, so we underachieved a lot."
Last year, Grandview finished tied for the fourth and final playoff spot with North Vancouver, but failed to advance on fewer games won.
This season, Grandview virtually played catchup with the North Delta Devils and North Van for the second-half of the league schedule, but failed North Van and North Delta are currently both tied with 44 points.
Steelers rookie Nicholas Hermary leads the team in scoring with 20 goals and 21 assists in 34 games played. Second-year forward Vik Sanghera is next with 14 goals and 38 total points.
Bruno admitted the No. 1 priority for next season is goaltending.
But he is also considering going back to a greater
mix of youth and experience that has served the Steelers franchise in past seasons.
"My objective is to move kids on to the next level and I'm proud to say I've done that again, but it cost us." Bruno said.
This Sunday, the Steelers will face the Abbotsford Pilots at the Burnaby Winter Club. Game time is 4 p.m.