Fife Flyers defenceman Jim Jorgensen admitted that fatigue was the major factor in Saturday’s play-off semi-final defeat to Cardiff Devils.
While the Welsh league champions rotated four lines throughout the match, including 14 outfield imports and several GB internationals, Fife kept most of their Brits on the bench leaving the imports to do almost double the skating of their Cardiff counterparts.
After a goalless first period where Fife more than held their own, Devils’ fresher legs and strength in numbers eventually told as they ran out 4-0 winners.
Jorgensen, a play-off winner with Coventry Blaze in 2015, said: “We gave everything and kept it close in the first half of the game, then they just wore us down.
“They are league champions for a reason. They can run four lines all night and they’re big boys who tire you out quick. If they are playing four lines like that all year they’re going to be fresh.
“We were down an import as well, so when you can’t run three full lines guys are getting more ice time than they probably need against a team rolling four lines.
“Guys obviously want to be out there, but you can only do so much. You’ve got to get some young guys in that can motor around and be a fourth line grind and give the guys some rest. “If guys get a break every third shift it adds up and gives you more legs for the rest of the game.”
After a decade of pro hockey, Jorgensen admits he has a number of factors to weigh up this summer before deciding if he will extend his playing career.
“There’s lots of thoughts going through my brain right now,” he said. “I’ll just enjoy the last couple of days together with the boys because it’s been a special group this year.
“I’ve been doing this for 10 seasons now and you make a lot of good friends. Sometimes you wish certain teams would get back together and last longer, but it’s just the nature of the sport that guys move on at different points in their lives.
“I’ve got to sit down with Todd and Hutch and see what their thoughts are, and I’ve got to talk to my wife.
“It’s a long hard season and you miss out on a lot of things back home like holidays, birthdays and family time.
“There’s got to be a point here where it’s the end. If it is, we’ll see.”