IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN….

It’s difficult to know how to start this little ditty really, do we look back at a weekend that gave us 6 points from 6? Keeping us within 1 point of league leaders Sheffield Steeldogs and ahead of Telford it was a weekend which gave us the results we wanted, and needed! Do we look ahead to Sunday and, potentially, a massive game against Sheffield? Do we look at tomorrow which is, arguably, a more pivotal game than either of the weekends? Or, instead, do we look at all 3 games holistically and wax lyrical about the different ways the next 5 days could pan out? I think that there is a happy balance between all of these elements, and as we have mentioned last weekend (and posted game highlights) it seems like that has well and truly been covered. The footnote of the weekend is that the league has well and truly become a two horse race with Telford unable to catch Sheffield or ourselves.

So, on to this week, we now have 3 games in 5 days which are possibly the most important games, not just in Pirates history, but in the recent history of ice hockey in Hull! Our week starts tomorrow with two away fixtures before we return home on Sunday for the final game of the season in front of, what we hope, will be a record crowd! The regular season has 180 minutes of hockey left in it for us, and what a 180 minutes they are going to be! We think it is a really exciting finish to the season, who would have predicted when the fixtures came out that both conferences would come right down to the wire and be decided over the last weekend? Surely this is better than a league that has been decided in January with a long parade into the playoff weekend?

Tomorrow is a long road trip to Telford and a game against the Tigers, people are calling this a dead rubber game, those people need to call Tom Watkins and tell him that. He doesn’t know the meaning of it and we will face a team as determined as ever to beat us. This is the game that is taking all of our concentration as a team right now, it is very much a case of one game at a time and the rest will take care of itself. This is how we work, this is how every professional sports organisation works, one step at a time. Control what you can control in that moment, otherwise the mind is distracted and the task overwhelming. Run-ins like these are played as much in the mind as they are on the ice, so we will concentrate on this one game before we consider what is to come.

Saturday we are in Sheffield for a 7:30 faceoff and we would love Ice Sheffield to become the Republic of Pirates (check your history books) and turn a road game into a home game. Seeing a sea of green and hearing your noise will be incredible! This game, one way or another, will have a lot riding on it, it will be an incredible atmosphere, as usual when we meet the Steeldogs, but amplified to 11 (check your film trivia)!!

Sunday, oh sweet, sweet Sunday. Will. Be. Incredible! There will be several outcomes that could be played out by this point, to pick them apart seems superfluous on our part and has already been done by many out in planet internet. What Sunday will be is a celebration that no hockey fan wants to miss! We want to encourage every single one of you to make the game, can you imagine selling our building out and welcoming your team home? Aspirational you say? Maybe, but what’s wrong with aspirations? Surely without them you enter mediocrity? Realistic aspiration is what we say!

If everybody who is, or has been, a fan of hockey in Hull came down to this game why couldn’t we fill the place? Now tell me it isn’t realistic! This is a game against true rivals, on the last day of the regular season, it has the hallmarks of a hockey game for the ages. Something fans across the world wax lyrical about, players’ dream of playing in, and we all hope to be a part of. Now that your appetite is whet why not bring a friend and introduce them to this glorious game, played by warriors in a gladiatorial setting? See, you are all imagining a full, sold out building, in your mind’s eye now aren’t you? Suddenly it isn’t a realistic aspiration, it is a reality, let’s make it our reality, let’s fill this building of ours and show our team of warriors exactly what they mean to us as they take on the Sheffield Steeldogs one last time.