The Elite suffered a setback over the weekend, dropping both games to Medicine Hat Sun Devils and Lethbridge Barracudas, after having the hottest start to the season in recent years.
The Elite had been fighting the Sun Devils for first place in the RMLL standings and last Friday's meeting was a chance to see which team had the edge on the other.
The Sun Devils got the upper hand early, scoring four goals in the first period, while Mike Nelson and Nik Dean responded for the Cranbrook side.
Keiffer Hollister and Dean scored early in the second period to tie it up, and Casey Haneymeyer's goal gave the Elite a brief lead, but the Sun Devils defensive lapses tightened up, and the offense went to work, scoring five unanswered goals on Morgan Brown.
However, Dakota Hollister managed to find the back of the net once for the Elite before the period ended.
Facing a two-goal deficit going into the final frame, the Elite threw what they could at the Sun Devils, but their goaltender was making some big saves, said Mackenzie Miles.
"We knew Medicine Hat is a good team and we knew it was going to be a close game so when we got down by a few goals, everything stayed positive. We kept working hard, guys were staying positive on the bench and all our lines were playing well, but the other team's goalie was having a really good game."
The Elite beat the Barracudas 12-8 when they last faced each other in the Rec Plex earlier in the season, but the 'Cudas got their revenge this time with a 19-6 shellacking.
The 'Cudas drew blood less than six seconds into the contest and scored four more goals by periods end. Mike Nelson scored the lone Elite goal six minutes into the game on a powerplay.
The 'Cudas followed up with a seven-goal performance in the second period, while Brandon Bruce, Mike Nelson and Mike Miles responded for the Cranbrook squad.
Nelson was assessed an illegal equipment penalty for wearing a chain necklace, and that seemed to be one of the turning points to the game, said Mackenzie Miles.
"We got negative at the refs, we got negative at the other team, and we got negative on each other, [we] totally imploded."
The Elite's woes continued into the final frame as the 'Cudas scored seven more goals while Mike and Mackenzie Miles answered back.
Though losing is never fun, Mackenzie Miles says there are lessons to be learned from those two games, especially after winning nine of their last 10 games.
"We weren't used to losing after playing the bottom-end of the league, we picked up some big wins and we weren't used to playing close games."
The Elite will wrap up their season on the road this weekend with a trip to Calgary to face the Rockies, with a stopover in Okotoks to challenge the Ice.