Judd Lambert has been around the Pacific International Junior Hockey League long enough not to get too excited about a three game win streak.
After an unusual start to the season that saw the Richmond Sockeyes play three straight overtime games and not produce a victory, the defending league champions look to finally be hitting their stride after a productive week that saw them outscore their
opponents 16-4. "I don't know if we are actually rolling," said Lambert. "We have won three games but have a long ways to go. We are striving to play 60 minutes of hockey. Right now, there are good stretches and bad stretches."
Lambert returned behind the bench this season after a one year hiatus and faces perhaps his greatest challenge thanks to an extensive turnover of players.
"Everything is brand new for 95 percent of this team," continued Lambert. "Other than my first season here, the other four years I have had somewhat of a foundation (of veterans) to start the season. It's a different challenge and that's why I'm enjoying it.
"The regular seasons in the past have been kind of a long and a grind because we didn't have that far to go as a team. We usually had a playoff spot wrapped up by the end of October. The guys on this team understand we need to work on things and get better."
After a 3-0 win over North Vancouver, the Sockeyes returned home to dump the Port Moody Panthers 7-3 behind a goal and three assists from Liam Lawson. Richmond then traveled to Abbotsford the next night and overcame shaky start to defeat the Pilots 6-2. Kootenay Alder made 39 stops while rookie Ayden McDonald continued his productive stretch with a pair of goals. The 16-year-old now has five in six games.
"We're really happy with the way he is playing," added Lambert. "He's a big body who was unheralded at best but made the team out of camp and has done really well."
The Sockeyes return to action Thursday when Grandview visits at 7 p.m.
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