Whether it's gripping the sticks too tight, a lack of confidence, none of those or all the above, the Kelowna Rockets are finding it tough to score goals of late.
The Rockets were shut out for the second game in a row and the third time in six, falling 4-0 to the Victoria Royals Friday.
Kelowna has scored just once in its last three away from Prospera Place and, dating back to last Saturday's 5-1 loss in Kamloops, have gone eight periods and 167 minutes and four seconds without scoring a goal.
The dry spell couldn't have come at a worse time as they try to fend off the hard charging Royals who are nipping at their heels for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The win by the Royals Friday moved them to within three points of Kelowna which is clinging to that final playoff berth.
Reggie Newman and Teague Patton in the first, Riley Gannon into an empty net and Ryan Spizawka in the final minute scored for the Royals.
Braden Holt, acquired in a recent deal from Everett, stopped 29 shots to earn his second shutout with the Royals in five starts and third overall.
Talyn Boyko allowed both first period goals on nine shots before being pulled in favour of Jafri Kykkanen.
The Rockets played Friday without leading scorer Andrew Cristall (lower body) and Carson Golder (upper body) who are both listed as day-to-day. Newly acquired Ty Hurley is out week-to-week with a lower body injury.
Trae Johnson, picked up from Brandon in the Nolan Flamand deal, made his Rockets debut Friday.
The same two teams face off again tomorrow night in the provincial capital. They will travel to Vancouver next Friday before hosting the Giants a week Saturday.
The Rockets are in a stretch now where they face either the Royals or Giants in each of their next eight.