Tough trip to Devils welcomed by Pacha as Hull look to close gap on leading pack

BUOYANT: Hull Stingrays' player-coach Omar Pacha, left. Picture: Arthur Foster
BUOYANT: Hull Stingrays' player-coach Omar Pacha, left. Picture: Arthur Foster
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HULL STINGRAYS’ player-coach Omar Pacha is happy for his players to test their skills against the Elite League’s form team tonight.

A midweek road trip to take on Cardiff Devils may be the last thing most teams would wish for at this time of year, particularly when a five-game unbeaten run has lifted them to third in the overall standings and just three points behind Sheffield Steelers.

But Hull head to South Wales in buoyant mood sealing a first four-point weekend of the season with wins over Edinburgh Capitals. Pacha, whose team sit seventh, is keen to see how his young roster measures up against a side he considers to be a serious contender for the league title.

“Cardiff are certainly in contention for the title,” said Pacha.

“But one of our aims this season is to close the gap between the top half and bottom half of the league.”

Previous visits to Cardiff this season have ended in defeat for Hull, a 3-2 loss in the league followed by a 7-2 drubbing in the Challenge Cup.

“We were short on bodies for both games against them but, at the weekend against Edinburgh, we rolled three lines and it worked well,” added Pacha.

“It will be a big test for us. They are a very physical side – that is one of their main stregnths particularly on that smaller ice.

“We need to match their intensity, but also use our speed and quick transition as we have been doing and see where that gets us.”