JASON HEWITT insists his Hull Pirates team have "nothing to lose" as they look to overturn a two-goal deficit to reach the NIHL National Cup final.
The Pirates head to Peterborough Phantoms having lost the first leg on home ice 4-2, but buoyed by a recent run of unbeatable league form which has them boasting a five-game winning streak.
The two teams have matched up well all season, with Hull 2-1 ahead in the four-game head-to-head league series between the two and looking to overhaul the four-point gap that currently exists between them and third-placed Peterborough in the regular season standings. Hull also have three games in hand on their Cambridgeshire rivals.
"They’re a good team and we’ve been good against them this year," said Hewitt, who will be without defenceman Jamie Chilcott for Friday night's game. "The first leg was quite frustrating but we're not disheartened by being down by two goals, we’ll go in there confident and we’ll see what happens.
"The first goal is obviously massive. I’m not sure what their plan will be, they’re very well-structured whereas we’re a bit more of an all-guns-blazing type team. We’re not going to change anything, we’re just going to go after it the same as we do every game.
"We’ve got 60 minutes to overturn the deficit and we’ve got nothing to lose. We've got to go and make sure we leave it all out there."
Hull take Saturday night off before returning to home ice on Sunday to host Milton Keynes Lightning, who bounced back from a 4-1 loss at bottom club Leeds Chiefs last Saturday with a 6-4 victory at home to Raiders.
With the league title race increasingly likely to be between current leaders Telford Tigers and Swindon Wildcats, Hewitt is determined his team finish the season strong to take some momentum into the playoffs.
"For us it is about finishing strong and finishing as high up as we can," added Hewitt. "We’re not unrealistic and while the title probably isn’t mathematically gone, it’s certainly a massive reach and a lot of things need to go our way as well as us winning.
"But we just need to make sure we have some good form and put a good run together. It’s been a frustrating year and not one that I think is a true reflection of our team. But there’s nothing we can do about that now, we just have to build towards the playoffs and go into them in the best form we can."