Murrayfield Racers host Solway Stingrays tomorrow in a Scottish National League match-up.
The Edinburgh club, unbeaten in all SNL competitions this season, are red-hot favourites to pick up two points, however Racers’ director of hockey, Tony Hand, has warned his players they can’t afford to slip-up as he looks for a reaction following a “tired” display last time out, a 4-0 home loss to Billingham Stars in the National Ice Hockey League North Cup.
Solway sit third from bottom of the SNL table and travel to Murrayfield off the back of an 11-3 home loss to Aberdeen Lynx.
Asked whether Sunday gives him a chance to give more responsibility to some of his fringe players, Hand said: “We’ve had a lot of really tough games as of late, and without taking anything away from Solway they’re probably not the strongest opposition we’ll play this year, but we still need to go out there and give them respect. More than anything else, I’m concerned with how we play, and I want to put on a good show for our fans.
“I’ve been in the game a long time, and when you’re trying to win a trophy every game is key and you can’t afford a slip-up. Some teams maybe don’t look as strong as us on paper but if you don’t put the effort in you’ll get turned over. This run we’re on is teaching guys what it takes to win something, you can never win anything in December but you can certainly lose it.
“Last weekend we played well to get a win in Aberdeen, but on Sunday (against Billingham) we just looked tired to be honest.
“We had a chat during the week about keeping up the levels we’re expecting of them, some have fallen below that and are maybe thinking I’ll get it back again next week. I don’t want that, I want to make sure everybody takes this very seriously and doesn’t let their level drop. I’ve been really pleased with how the boys have reacted to that in training.”