They had some close calls, and even some heartbreaking losses in overtime or shootouts.
But in regulation, the Palm Beach Hawks were a perfect 8-0-3 from mid-October through mid-November.
The Florida Eels eventually defeated them in a pair of games in regulation over the Nov. 17-18 weekend, but the Hawks’ long streak of earning points helped to vault them into third in the EJHL South with a 9-7-1-2 record.
The Hawks went 7-0 through the middle of the 8-0-3 run, as well.
“Every one of the players have bought into how we operate here,” said head coach Tim Kyrkostas. “We believe we win games on the weekend based on how we work and prepare Monday through Friday.
“We have done a great job laying a solid framework for success,” he added. “The players have really bought in and now they are seeing the results. Our game plan is really simple – we want to always outwork our opponents and try to limit the amount of mental mistakes that we make during the game.”
During the best of times, the best players often show what they can do, especially when their teammates are helping to make things happen around them.
During the 11-game streak of going unbeaten in regulation, which lasted from Oct. 7 through Nov. 11, leading scorer Nick Aleva registered 18 of his 23 points.
Jake Simons scored 15 of his 17 points in those 11 games and C.J. Hoy scored 12 of his 17 points.
“Nick Aleva, Jake Simons and C.J. Hoy have really done a great job over this streak at finding the back of the net,” said Kyrkostas. “The line has been great. They all do a wonderful job complementing each other. Nick brings some great hands and speed, Jake is so deceitful around the net and down low, and C.J does a great job feeding his two wingers the puck.”
The power play, which started out the season “so poorly” according to Kyrkostas, has certainly turned around with the help of Hoy, Simons and Aleva. In 11 of their 12 games through Nov. 18, the Hawks scored a power play goal.
On the season, the Hawks were 22-for-110 for a 20 percent power play rating. During the Warrior Classic in mid-November, the Hawks killed off all 12 of their man-down situations, and had an 80.91 penalty kill percentage overall for the season.
During the month of November, goaltender Shane Dietl was named EJHL South Co-Goaltender of the Month for October, when he went 5-0-0-1 with a .919 save percentage and a 2.57 goals-against-average.