Fife Flyers coach Todd Dutiaume has demanded more hunger from his players ahead of this weekend’s ‘Pack the Barn’ match against Nottingham Panthers.
Flyers commercial team are handing out free tickets to schools and businesses and offering half-price entry to season ticket holders from Fife’s four senior football clubs in an attempt to boost the crowd and encourage new fans.
And Dutiaume expects his players to up their game for the visit of the reigning Elite League champions following three successive home defeats where only two goals were scored.
He said: “The first responsibility falls on the coaching staff - myself and Danny Stewart - and right now our powerplay is abysmal and we’re not making smart plays.
“But the second responsibility falls on the players to execute the systems and show that hunger.
“When we have that hunger we’re a good hockey club but too many guys want to sit back and watch someone else to it at this hockey club.
“You can sign guys, pay them and give them systems, but you can’t give them hunger, and we need a little bit more of that.
“I’m certainly not going to blame the home crowd for making these guys up tight, or an official for losing us a game.
“At the end of the day, if these guys play for 60 minutes we have a great team, but when they are not prepared to do the little things, that’s when we’ll be losing games.”
Flyers have lost six home matches already this season after losing just eight times at home during the whole of the last campaign.
“Last year we had that hunger at home and we had confidence as well,” Dutiaume said.
“In our first home game we scored a goal after eight seeconds and we just rolled on from that.
“Right now, for whatever reason, these guys aren’t performing as well at home as they are on the road.
“It’s very frustrating because last year we couldn’t buy a win on the road, and on Saturday we came into a home game on the back of three great away wins and under-performed.
“A number of things have to get changed because we can’t continue to drop valuable points at home.”
Flyers have had a tough run of fixtures since the start of the season - Sunday’s trip to Dundee Ice Arena will be their 13th league fixture, but only their third in their own conference.
“This is an extremely difficult month for us,” Dutiaume said. “In December we have something ridiculous like 19 out of 22 games all in our conference - and that will be make or break for this team.”