Dundee Comets face Widnes Wild this weekend aiming to prove that their impressive run to the NIHL Moralee Cup final was no fluke.
The Comets were written off before the cross-border competition started, having failed to win any of their group games when it was last staged in 2019/20.
Murrayfield Racers flew the flag for the Scottish National League (SNL) on that occasion, clinching the NIHL North Cup trophy after a thrilling final against Whitley Warriors.
An expanded format and rebrand saw eight teams split into two groups this season, with the four teams in each section battling for a place in the semi-finals.
The Comets did themselves proud in the opening phase, winning four of their six games to claim second spot behind Solway Sharks.
They were scheduled to face Solihull Barons in the last four, but the Moralee D1 club were dismissed from the competition after failing to agree dates for the tie.
The Sharks were fancied to emerge victorious from the other semi-final, but Widnes upset the odds to beat the Dumfries outfit 8-7 on aggregate.
The English club will now be confident of lifting the trophy, but Comets’ forward John Dolan believes the SNL outfit can come out on top.
“It’s a great thing for this club to have reached the final – it’s been a great adventure this year,” said Dolan.
“We have had great netminding from our goalies, which helps a lot. All our lines have been scoring too, which is a big bonus.
“Everyone has stepped up and been accountable every game, and it comes from the coach (Richard Hartmann).
“He gives us good insight into what he wants from us, and that starts from all the drills we do at training.”
Dundee Ice Rink will host the first leg of the final on Saturday, with the reverse fixture scheduled to take place in Widnes the following day.
(Image permission: Craig Chalmers Photography)