HULL STINGRAYS’ player-coach Omar Pacha will have to wait longer for his return to the ice, after he was ruled out of this weekend’s home games against Edinburgh Capitals and Nottingham Panthers.
But while defenceman Pacha faces at least another week out as he recovers from a broken arm, forward Zach Hervato will be back on the ice tonight after sitting out the last three games injured.
Since stunning Nottingham 6-1 on the road on September 27, Hull have lost their subsequent five games and welcome Edinburgh (Saturday, 6.30pm) in desperate need of points and also a first home win of the season, a situation not lost on Pacha.
“Edinburgh is the biggest game of the year without a shadow of a doubt,” said Pacha. “We have practised well all week and have given guys some time to rest as they have been playing a lot of minutes.
“It is not a season-on-the-line game but it is still a big game. We will be ready and looking to get that first win at home. The guys know how big this game is.”
While disappointed at his own setback, the Hull coach is delighted to have Hervato back in the line up, the Canadian forward has racked up nine points, including four goals, in the eight games he played before getting injured.
“I am disappointed (not to be playing) but, having spoken to the physio and doctor, the strength is not there,” added Pacha.
“But it will be great to have Zach back. He has been our most pleasant surprise, he competes at both ends of the ice and gives us more speed.”
Stingrays welcome holders Nottingham in the Challenge Cup on Sunday (6pm) as they looking for a win to move them above Coventry Blaze and into fourth place in Group B
“It is a big game for both teams,” said Pacha. “It is their last group game and we still have four left and three of those are at home so if we can get a couple of wins we have a good chance of going through to the quarter-finals.”