WATERVILLE — Timing is everything, in hockey and in life, and it certainly wasn’t good for the Colby College men’s hockey team last weekend.

The Mules saw a seven-game unbeaten streak come to certain halt, dropping road decisions to both Hamilton College and Amherst College by lopsided scores. It wasn’t hard to see how Colby (5-4-2 overall) was outscored 10-5 over the weekend.

The Mules penalty kill conceded goals on five of 12 tries, while the team’s power play went 0 for 9 in the two games.

“I think it took me a little bit by surprise,” said Colby assistant coach Tyler Walsh, who handles the Mules’ special teams. “Before the weekend, we were making some gains and playing well on the streak that we had. They’re fixable things, small details, but it’s stuff we’ve worked on in practice and placed an emphasis on. I think we’ll be much better.”

The bad weekend on the PK dropped Colby to 78th of 83 teams in NCAA Division III in shorthanded situations. The Mules are killing off penalties at just a 73 percent clip.

“We like to pride ourselves on our penalty kill, so it was shocking to not live up to our standard in that regard,” Colby senior center Nick O’Connor said. “Special teams come and go in waves.”

Amherst blew open a 1-0 lead with two power play goals in the final 2:30 of the first period Saturday, capitalizing on J.P. Schuhlen’s major penalty to score three times in a span of 2:28 for a 3-0 lead.

Costly penalties in the first two minutes and last two minutes of periods — key times in hockey games always — are hurting the Mules.

“It deflates us, especially in those cases where we’re taking penalties in the first two and last two,” Colby junior defenseman Mark Leprine said. “It’s those momentum swings that really get you.”

If the power play goals Colby’s allowing the opposition are a product of bad timing, so, too, is this weekend’s schedule.

Sitting just eighth in the New England Small College Athletic Conference standings, the team returns home to face Trinity on Friday and Wesleyan on Saturday. Wesleyan sits atop the NESCAC standings, while Trinity, a four-time league champion and last season’s regular-season champion, is third.

Moreover, Trinity’s power play ranks third in the nation at a 28.6 percent success rate.

“I think every weekend’s important, but coming off two losses that were hard to swallow, this is a huge weekend for us,” Leprine said. “These are a huge four points, especially in this league where it’s hard to get points. At home, we’ve got to bring everything we have. So, yeah — big, big points.”

The Mules’ power play has been quiet for most of the season, with just six goals in 39 tries (15.4 percent). Colby has only one power play goal in its last four games, a 1 for 14 stretch with the man advantage (7.1 percent).

“It’s a big issue for us right now,” O’Connor said. “We need a little more movement and getting more pucks to the net, because it feels a little stationary out there. We have to move the puck quick, move our feet and get things to the net.”

If there was any question about effort on special teams, Walsh nixed that notion quickly. The team has placed emphasis in additional power play and penalty kill work on better faceoffs, better stick work and better communication among the players on the ice in those situations.

“You look at the game (against Amherst), we allowed three power play goals and didn’t score any. So other than that, it’s a 3-3 game,” Walsh said. “It’s definitely not effort, it’s execution. The effort is 100 percent there, both 5 on 5 and with special teams. It’s about focusing on the details.”

“(Special teams) are huge,” O’Connor said. “If you can capitalize on your power play chances and shut them down on theirs, you have a massive leg up toward the end result of the game. They’re absolutely huge.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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