Hi Stars fans,
I hope you’re all well and that everyone is getting excited for the upcoming Friday and Saturday night home games, starting off on Friday with a HUGE ¼ final of the Challenge Cup at the DIA vs local rivals, the Glasgow Clan.
It has obviously been a very busy start to the season on and off the ice, with a hectic schedule at various junctures, but I thought I should take some time out and give you all a quick update on how I have analysed the first part of the season.
As everyone knows, we went through a rough patch a few weeks back where we were losing too many games for my liking.
During that time, we found ways to lose games in many different ways, from bad bounces, to an unsuccessful goal line technology decision to direct mistakes attributable to us that were ultimately costing the team points.
During the slump that I refer to above, we certainly felt we were working extremely hard but the results just weren’t there and as a Coach, when you see your team working their tails off day in day out but the results not coming, it’s very frustrating as I want to see these guys enjoy success.
We decided to press the reset button here 2 weeks ago and since then we are 3-0. We are coming out of a very gutsy road win in a sold out arena vs a stacked Belfast Giants side which was a very pleasing result.
Obviously our intentions are to keep this momentum up and keep ourselves within distance of other sides and of course, push ourselves up the ladder.
This league is so strong now, the quality is incredible, but qualifying for a playoff berth this season is our goal, so we simply have to ensure we take this season deep and get that playoff spot.
The immediate focus now is the Challenge Cup this coming Friday – it’s a competition that we obviously did extremely well to get to this stage and it’s a massive opportunity for us as a Club to now do something special should we progress.
Not only finishing top of our group but winning the overall group phase was a big accomplishment for the Club and with our group having the Belfast Giants who are the defending Elite League and Challenge Cup winners , the Glasgow Clan who are currently top of the league and an extremely competitive Fife team, we were able to go 5-1 during those 6 games, which was an impressive output from the players and should give the guys added confidence going into this series.
The game on Friday will be the biggest game of the season so far for us without doubt, this group wants to create a legacy here in Dundee so we will be doing everything we can to make it to the semi-finals and should we be fortunate enough to get there, anything can happen from that point- so please, if you haven’t already gotten your tickets, get them ASAP as we’re expecting a big crowd.
OFF THE ICE:
All I can say is that the support from our fan base has been tremendous this season.
Across the first 3 months of the season, we have surpassed attendance from this time last year and ever before.
This is a testament to you Stars fans for believing in what we’ve been pushing hard to achieve here in Dundee which is ensuring we’re community focused and active throughout but also delivering value to you the fans and our fantastic sponsors in what we achieve on the ice too.
The community element is an aspect that we continue to see grow here in Dundee on a yearly basis and as I’ve mentioned many times before, when it comes to recruiting players each summer, I ensure they’re fully aware of the expectations we place on all of our team to be actively engaged in the community.
We are seeing more than ever the interest from fans both old and new, our growing sponsorship and local media are strong too.
The great part right now of the media side is that they are not doing it as a favour to the Stars, they’re doing it because there is legitimately fan interest, they see the overall growth in the sport of ice hockey and also the strength of the EIHL.
This is music to my ears as I know it will be to you and all the other fans.
Back to Back Home Games:
As mentioned earlier, this coming Friday is a huge game vs Glasgow in the Challenge Cup, but we are straight back into EIHL action on Saturday, again at the DIA, vs a very strong Coventry Blaze side in what I know will be a highly competitive game with 2 vital league points up for grabs.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have your support for both games, it gives the players a massive boost seeing the stands full and helps drive us forward when in the battle of the game, so if you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, please get them for both games NOW!
It’s going to be a fun weekend, we look forward to seeing everyone firstly on Friday night at the Dundee Ice Arena (19.30pm face-off) and again on Saturday (19.00pm face-off) – make sure you extend the invite to your friends, family and work colleagues!