SUNDAY is the first of three make-or-break games for the Deeside Dragons that will see their promotion hopes live or die.
Without a game last weekend, Steve Fellows’ side had to watch as the teams with games in hand tightened the race for the top two places up.
With three games left to play, the Dragons can score a maximum of 35 points. While it is unlikely that Nottingham Lions will fail to beat that total and take top spot in the National Ice Hockey League North Two, the Dragons have a prime opportunity to take second place as two of their remaining three games are against second-placed Sheffield Senators, starting with their final home game at the Dragons’ Den on Sunday (5.30pm).
Taking four points off the Senators would take them out of the race for the promotion play-off place and put the Dragons, who have a full squad available this weekend, back in pole position.
“We are where we want to be,” said Fellows. “We always wanted to go into the final few games with something to play for and we are.
“My only problem is deciding who to pick as everyone is available.”
But the Dragons know they cannot take anything for granted. Last time the team met complacency at 3-1 up saw the Dragons lose 5-4.
“We can’t expect to win, we have to fight for it,” said Fellows. “It is a high-pressure situation now but if you can’t handle the pressure you shouldn’t be playing.
“If we want to go up to a higher level we have to win these games. There is no more room for not quite delivering.
“But I’ve seen the lads in training this week and they are up for it. They understand what it means and I am confident that we will get the results we need.
“The key thing for us is to tighten up our defence. When we scored five at Solihull we should have won, but we conceded seven.
“That could easily be the difference so we need to shut it down at the back.”