Edinburgh Capitals must dig deep at Hull Stingrays tonight to retain their slim hopes of making the play-offs.
Player-coach Richard Hartmann says his young team must “look within themselves for the motivation to play their best”.
Caps trail Hull, who occupy the final play-off spot, by four points, with six games remaining of the regular season, and with back-to-back games with league leaders Braehead Clan to come this weekend, nothing less than a regulation time win will do for Edinburgh tonight.
Caps were shut out 5-0 at Coventry Blaze last time out, their third straight defeat.
“We have a lot of young players and it’s at these critical times that you can see we are lacking a little bit of leadership on the ice,” said Hartmann. “I was so disappointed after the Coventry game not because we lost, but because the effort wasn’t there and that is something I’ve not said a lot this year.
“I’ve said everything to them that needs to be said, ultimately it’s up to the boys to look within themselves for the motivation to go out and play their best tonight and play like a team. As a young player you must learn to give your best whatever situation you find yourself in, it’s what professionals do and that’s not what we’ve been doing recently.”
Caps will be minus injured forward Sean Beattie, and Jordan Steel is a doubt. Hartmann will make a last-minute decision on Greg Collins who has missed the last two games with a groin injury.