MAKE no mistake, there is no shortage of incentive for Omar Pacha and his Dundee Stars team when they host Sheffield Steelers tomorrow night.
While many people may assume that the thing weighing most heavily on the Stars’ head coach’s shoulders is the fact he is yet to taste victory against the Steelers in 28 outings, there is something else – that he regards as far more important – currently occupying his mind.
The Steelers head north for their second trip to Scotland in five days as the second group of visitors to Tayside this weekend, with the Stars hoping they will be welcoming Tom Barrasso’s team on the back of a home victory tonight against bottom club Milton Keynes Lightning.
If that is the case, it means Dundee will be just one point behind the Steelers, who will be looking to bounce back after a 5-2 defeat at Glasgow Clan on Wednesday.
A second win of the weekend for Dundee would – to the understandable delight of Pacha – lift them above the Steelers in the standings and extend their winning streak to seven games.
“It is always a challenge playing the Steelers, they have a lot of depth and they are obviously not where they want to be in the standings right now,” said Pacha, who started his career on the bench at Hull Stingrays as a player-coach back in 2014 and arrived at Dundee via a two-year spell at Manchester Storm.
“But if we win both of our games this weekend we can jump in front of them, which is an added incentive.
“The personal aspect for me is not a big thing.
“To be honest, if we lose all our games against Sheffield then win enough games against all the other teams then I won’t be bothered about my record against the Steelers.”
Pacha’s players head into tomorrow’s contest full of confidence after following up a 3-2 win in a shoot-out at defending champions Cardiff Devils last Sunday with a 6-4 win over current EIHL leaders Belfast in midweek.
“Beating those kind of teams gives you extra confidence but it is more the fact about how we played that game and how we’ve been playing in recent weeks.”
To be honest, if we lose all our games against Sheffield then win enough games against all the other teams then I won’t be bothered about my record against the Steelers.Dundee Stars’ head coach, Omar Pacha