By Kris Smith
With eight victories from a possible 10 the Kitmart Dundee Stars are now have the best form in the UK.
In the last four weeks, Stars have climbed off the foot of the Elite League table and are now sitting in sixth position. Dundee have won eight of their last 10 Elite League matches and on their good run have beaten the top four teams in the Elite League.
They have defeated league leaders Belfast Giants, Cardiff Devils, Nottingham Panthers, and Milton Keynes Lightning. They have also overcame Coventry Blaze twice and also their biggest rivals, Fife Flyers on two occasions. Omar Pacha’s men bounced back from two defeats, firstly after Sheffield Steelers ended their six-game winning streak and also after Milton Keynes beat them on the second night of their three-game road trip last weekend.
After collecting 17 from an available 20 points, Stars head coach, Omar Pacha is proud of his team and how they have turned around their form.
He said: “It is good, the last 10 games have been very successful and it is great that we had that turnaround but now the main thing is to keep it going.
“You want to keep this momentum going and keep playing the same way and hopefully pick up more points.”
Pacha only made a few adjustments to his side to get them back on track, the Canadian added: “There were a few things that we tweaked in our systems, some guys have stepped up individually too and that helps.
“I think the guys understood the system well and again I think a lot of the players are playing their best hockey of the season right now which obviously for any team to be successful, you need your players to play as best as they can.”
His side now have the best form over the last 10 games in the UK and Pacha said: “It is good but it is such a long season that you want to keep this pace, keep this consistency and you don’t want to go back to losing games on a regular basis.
“For us it is great, it is a great feeling but it is a feeling that we want to keep pushing.”
His team bounced back from two defeats with a victory following each of the losses and that was exactly what Pacha wanted.
He said: “I mentioned to the guys that this streak would end eventually whether it be against Sheffield, the winning streak, or whether it be against Milton Keynes, the point streak, but it is really important to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.
“To get that win Friday was great and obviously to get it on Sunday against Coventry was great too because you want to quickly get back to winning ways.
“I am proud of them, I think in the last 10 games we were unlucky not to get even more points, especially against Milton Keynes when that goal was disallowed, which was a good goal.
“It is what it is and we just have to keep on trucking and playing the same way.”
If their fine form is to continue, they must go to the home of the reigning champions, Cardiff Devils and steal another two points from the Welsh side.
Omar said: “It doesn’t get any easier, we are on the road on Saturday and it is always a hard place to play, especially the Saturday game when we have to go down really early and then play the Sunday also.
“Playing those games is tough but we have proven we are able to beat them and to be in games.
“I also think we have proven that we can compete against every single team, it is about finding that consistency and hopefully we can keep this going on Saturday.
“As I said to the guys, there is still a lot of hockey left, we just have to look at every game as the most important and then move forward.”
Commercial manager Elliot Shaw believes that the recent good form on the ice is going to help the club off the ice.
He said: “There is an obvious buzz around the club, everyone from the office staff to the players is feeling the momentum that is coming with the success that is happening on the ice.
“Obviously that makes everyone’s job far more positive and far more easier and makes everyone feel as if they are part of the team.
“Even the fans, we are noticing online that the fans are coming together and getting behind the guys.
“It is almost like there is a community feeling around the whole club at the moment and certainly that makes the off-ice job of selling the Dundee Stars brand a lot easier.
“We are hopeful for big crowds over the Christmas period and some more big wins in the new year.”
Dundee’s final games of 2018 see them travel to Cardiff Devils this Saturday before hosting Nottingham Panthers on Sunday. Another two instalments of the East Coast Derby take place with Stars hosting bitter rivals, Fife Flyers on Boxing Day before the return leg in Kirkcaldy on December 27. Their final match before the new year sees Pacha take his side to Belfast for an Elite League tie with the Giants on December 30.