Twelve games and three points to show for it.
It probably wasn't how Bill Liskowich envisioned the season, but like it or not, he's got to live with it. Only, in this case, it wasn't that they were losing games because of other teams' having a better game than they were.
They lost due to their own misunderstanding of CIAU rules, perhaps the most humiliating. They lost Nathan McQuoid, a former Weyburn Red Wing whom Liskowich recruited and got for his ability to play gritty, until January. McQuoid isn't fun to play against, when teams get a chance to, that is.
But McQuoid was ineligible to play because he didn't get the required credit hours last year.
The Cougars lost a game they 'won' against Calgary where McQuoid played (and incidentally scored a goal), and had to win their first game of the season for a second time.
During the opening weekend, two of the players were held back from participating in Edmonton as the rest of their teammates played against the U of Alberta because they had exams that their professors refused to reschedule.
It's one thing to lose to another team, but entirely another to beat yourself, or not have your faculties with you when you go into a game.
Just like much of the last three years, this is a time that the Cougar Hockey team would like to forget about.
If there is a positive, it's that things couldn't possibly get much worse.
They lost three important players to injuries, as Nathan Westermann, Darren Houghton, and Leigh Spencer have played a total of one game among the three of them. It's pretty much a given that this team wouldn't be 1-10-1 with those three in the lineup consistently. Darren Martens has missed the last four games due to problems resulting from a concussion.
It is hoped that those four players, in addition to McQuoid, can find their way back into the lineup in time for the playoff stretch. If not, it's not the end of the program. They've had some rookies step into their place and perform admirably.
Nathan Strueby has eight goals this year, and is in a mammoth tie for third in league goal scoring, and he's missed two games. Doyle McMorris has shown maturity beyond his years most nights. Neil Schell and Ashley Wesling have shown the stuff that they are made of.
In net, Steve Yanyk is starting to look comfortable, and almost singlehandedly stole some points against the U of Saskatchewan. What he lacks in size, he more than makes up for in reflexes.
In short, this team needs to get a little luck and a few bounces this weekend to climb back into the race.