Frustrated netminder Kevin Regan admitted that Fife Flyers are struggling to produce their best in games against the Braehead Clan.
The fixture is billed as one of the biggest rivalries in the Elite League but after Sunday’s 5-2 defeat in a sold-out Braehead Arena, Flyers have now lost five in a row against title-chasing Clan.
With more than just bragging rights at stake, Regan stressed that Flyers need to find a way to raise their game for the potentially crucial last match of the league season between the sides at Fife Ice Arena on March 22.
“They’ve had our number - you can’t say that they haven’t,” he told the Press.
“I think they caught us at home when we were down and injured and Braehead is a tough building to play in even when we’ve got our full line-up.
“I don’t think we’ve played our best against them.
“I don’t know if that’s a mental thing or if they’re catching us on the right days.
“We see these guys once more at home and I think we’ll be ready for them.
“In case we meet them in play-offs, we’ve got to show that at least we’re going to put up a battle.”
On Sunday, Flyers looked capable of ending their losing streak against Clan only for a series of mistakes to cost them the match.
“We had a couple of mistake that cost us,” Regan said.
“They buried their chances - but that’s my job - so I wouldn’t say we handed it to them.
“It was an even game for a long time but they play a style that makes you generate a lot of mistakes.
“Maybe the difference was that they buried their chances and we didn’t bury enough of ours.”
Regan took some solace from the weekend in the shape of Saturday’s crucial 5-1 home win over play-off rivals Edinburgh Capitals.
“It’s unfortunate that at this point of the year that Edinburgh was the bigger game,” Regan said.
“You would have liked to have been battling for the division and had Braehead be the bigger game.
“Saturday’s performance makes it an okay weekend, but we’re not happy.
“We did what we needed to do, but we wanted to win in Braehead, and we didn’t.”
Regan hopes Flyers can eradicate Sunday’s mistakes in the remaining five games.
“That’s important for us down the stretch,” he said.
“We’ve been playing really good hockey for a long time, and on Sunday, we just slipped a little bit.
“The point is, against a team like that, you can’t slip at all, and we did.
“It’s a little bit of composure - we talked about that - and just keeping level-headed whenever we go down a goal.
“We maybe got away from some of the stuff we want to do.
“I don’t think it’s an effort thing.
“We were pushing really hard and maybe felt the need to go off our system, and I think that caught us.”