Coincidence is the only way anyone in the Skipjacks' locker room can describe the team's uncanny ability to play poor hockey on Tuesday nights.
Last night's game against Maine at the Arena was no exception to the rule. Another Tuesday, another bad game.
This time the Jacks outshot the Mariners 41-21 in losing 4-2, dropping their Tuesday record to a dismal 1-5-1 and leaving some players shaking their heads.
"Somebody brought it up before the game, but it's such a meaningless thing," said right wing Tim Bergland, who scored the Jacks' first goal. "We had a big weekend and we wanted to play well. Nobody thinks it is a jinx."
Coach Robbie Laird said the Tuesday Factor means nothing, but it has become a sore subject with others.
"Maybe it's the crowd," said center Tim Taylor, who scored the Jacks' second and final goal of the night. "There are less people here on Tuesdays [2,076 last night]. But that shouldn't mean anything. We're professionals and I know we're out there working hard. Maybe that's one of the differences between the NHL and AHL -- it's a mental thing."
There certainly seems to be no solid reason for the letdowns, considering the Jacks don't have any Monday night games and have played just twice on Sunday nights when they've had Tuesday games. Even worse, is that six of the seven games have been at home and the team is 14-4-1 on non-Tuesday home games.
"The routine stays the same all the time," Laird said. "Nothing changes."
Laird instead chose to attribute last night's loss to the Mariners' stingy defensive work.
Suiting up eight defensemen didn't help Maine's scoring attack, but it sure didn't hurt its defensive either.
"They only gave us bad angles," said right wing Thomas Sjogren. "Their goalie [Matt DelGuidice] covered up the shots well and the defense held us out after the first shot. We weren't getting the rebounds. The shots we got weren't very dangerous."
Bergland even admitted his score was "just a lucky shot I put on goal."
Despite the overwhelming number of shots, DelGuidice never seemed severely tested, but came away with his second win in as many tries against the Jacks, who split the series with Maine, 3-3.
The Mariners got two first-period power-play goals from center Ralph Barahona, both resulting from high-sticking calls to Bobby Babcock. Nevin Markwart added another goal in the second period and John Carter scored in the third.