Dundee Tigers face an uphill task when they host Dundee Comets in the second leg of their Scottish Cup first round tie on Saturday.
The Comets hold an 8-1 lead from last weekend’s first leg, but the Tigers are keen to ensure their opponents don’t have an easy time of things in their second meeting.
Forward Grant Reekie admits the Tigers have struggled to find their form this season and he has called on his teammates to work hard to turn things around.
“The start to our season has been tough one – probably the worst one I can remember being involved in,” said Reekie. “It puts pressure on the guys and makes it hard to lift the spirits of everyone.
“When you add injuries and work commitments we’ve never had the chance to play with our full team, but you just have to take the good with bad.
“We are being realistic looking at the league this year. There’s five teams who I think are just a step head of the rest of the league, but our aim is to finish as high up as possible.
“We will continue to work hard in training and hopefully results will start going our way, but that’s only going to happen by us working hard and outworking teams.
“This week’s game against the Comets is another tough test for us. We’ve already played them twice and been on the receiving end of two heavy defeats.
“Playing against the calibre of players they have will help us improve as team and it’s a derby as well which gives it that little bit more of an atmosphere.
“As long as everyone goes out and gives all they have that’s all we can ask for. If we get beat because the other team was better I can accept that, but I can’t accept teams outworking us.”
Paisley Pirates return to action this weekend after six months off the ice to begin the defence of their league title.
The Pirates visit North Ayrshire Wild on Saturday before hosting Kilmarnock Storm the following day.
Ex-Comets boss Adam Walker has joined the club in a coaching capacity this summer and he believes the team are in good shape ahead of their season opener.
“With being unable to commit to Dundee Comets for the upcoming season, it’s been nice to be able to stay in coaching and Paisley have been very welcoming from day one,” said Walker.
“The set-up is a little more professional than I expected – Ian and Jackie Turley have done a great job in making sure of that. This weekend should be a tough two games and we have prepared for North Ayr and Kilmarnock Storm accordingly.
“It’s going to be a transitional season for us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have success. The team will be younger but will also be faster and will play with more energy. We can’t wait to get started.”
Dundee Tigers v Dundee Comets (Cup)
Kilmarnock Thunder v Solway Stingrays (Cup)
Kirkcaldy Kestrels v Edinburgh Capitals SNL (Cup)
North Ayrshire Wild v Paisley Pirates
Paisley Pirates v Kilmarnock Storm
(Image permission: Kenneth Malcolm)