Fife Flyers are hoping to complete a festive clean sweep of victories over their Scottish rivals after stuffing Dundee Stars over Christmas.
There were no leftovers as Flyers claimed back-to-back wins over their Tayside rivals to complete a much-needed four-point weekend, now they are hungry for more as a Hogmanay trip to Murrayfield Ice Rink to face Edinburgh Capitals is followed by Braehead Clan first footing at Fife Ice Arena on Friday.
Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume hopes the confidence boost provided by the Stars victories can help his team produce more fireworks over the new year period.
“This team definitely needed to put a couple of wins together,” he said.
“It was vital we beat that Stars team. We made it hard for ourselves, but we got there in the end and that’s what matters.
“For 55 minutes those were two good, solid performances, and you can attribute the last five minutes to the mental side of things.
“We were in full control but guys just tightened and changed their game a little bit. Instead of keeping it simple they tried fancy stuff and made it difficult for themselves.
“The guys just need to realise they are good hockey players and if they keep it simple and do what they’ve been doing they’ll see out these hockey games just fine.”
Flyers were hoping to finish 2014 on a high yesterday (Wednesday) at Murrayfield before going for some revenge over Braehead in the first match of 2015 tomorrow (Friday).
Flyers lost 8-2 at home to the Clan the last time the sides met on December 13 - a humbling defeat that is still fresh in the minds of Flyers players.
Dutiaume said: “We got embarrassed here last time and the guys didn’t take too well to that, so it’s time for these guys to step up and give them a little bit of payback.”
Clan are currently five points ahead of Fife at the top of the Gardiner Conference and although the Kirkcaldy side has a game in hand, this is not a game they can afford to lose.
“It’s a pivotal game - we don’t want that gap getting any wider,” Dutiaume said, “Conference games now are vital every night. “We still play Braehead a number of times - Hull as well. We’ve got to keep in touch with them.”
Flyers are hopeful that captain Kyle Haines may return for the Braehead game but there is still some uncertainty over the timescale of Chris Auger’s injury.
“We’ve really missed Haines - a guy who logs so many minutes for us and is an integral part of our playing side - but he’s close to getting back, and once we get him back we’ll be a different team,” Dutiaume said.
“Auger may be a little further away, we’ll know more in the next week or so, but up until last week he was our leading goalscorer and very nfluential on the ice.
“Everybody goes through their injuries but we’ve lost possibly our two most influential players - and once we get them back we’ll be looking very solid. We need them back because it’s a busy month.”