MARQUETTE - In hockey, if teams don't put the puck into the net with any regularity, they'll be hard-pressed to win many games.
The Marquette Electricians Local 1070 Midget AAA squad is learning this to be true the hard way.
Coach Mark Nebel's squad is 4-24-7 with 25-30 more games to play after the holiday break. The Electricians are averaging just 2.14 goals a game while giving up 3.28.
"We've lost a lot of games by 1-2 goals," Nebel said. "If we can eliminate one goal (against) and get a couple extra (for), we could win a lot of these games."
He said a lack of offense has been his team's major problem thus far this season.
"We'd like to have more wins and we've had the opportunity (to do so)," Nebel said. "We just haven't capitalized on our scoring chances.
The Marquette Electricians return home on Jan. 12 to host Belle Tire Selects at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Lakeview Arena in Marquette, with a third game against Belle Tire scheduled for 10 a.m. on Jan. 13.
"We've had some games with 3-4 breakaways, but don't score to turn the game around."
Last season, the Electricians went 33-23-11 overall, with six players scoring 40 points or more. Ten icers notched 10 or more goals.
"It's tough to replace scoring talent like that," Nebel said, noting 10 of those players were moved to the junior ranks. The team now has 15 new players this season.
Center-forward Torrin Grange leads the current club with 15 goals and 12 assists for 27 points in 35 games. He's the only Electrician with more than 10 goals.
"He's in his third year and has adapted to more of a leadership role," Nebel said. "He has good speed, good hands and a good shot."
Forward Eric Chapman is next on the scoring list with two goals and 24 assists for 26 points, with forward Nicholas Cammarata third at five goals and 13 assists for 18 points.
The Electricians have picked up forward Dustin Goupille from the Negaunee High School hockey team for more of a scoring punch. In five games with the Electricians, Goupille has recorded two goals and three assists.
"He provides leadership, energy and competitive skills," Nebel said of Goupille, who scored six goals in one game for the Miners against Lapeer earlier this season. "He's a feisty player."
Though an inexperienced Electricians' defense plays in front of goaltenders Bryce Leaf and Adam Ranck, the two netminders nevertheless sport 3.72 and 3.58 goals-against averages with one shutout apiece.
"They've kept us in a lot of games, no question," Nebel said.
He added after opening the second half of the season with two of the top teams in the country in Belle Tire and Victory Honda, the Electricians will play most of their remaining scheduled games at home.
"I see us continuing to get better," Nebel said.