Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Dundee Stars boss Omar Pacha demands big show for returning fans as ‘Operation Sellout’ mounted for Manchester Storm visit

Dundee Stars head coach Omar Pacha
Dundee Stars head coach Omar Pacha

Omar Pacha’s Dundee Stars have faced plenty of hardship this season.

A horrendous run of early injuries and results, two Covid protocol periods and a Government-mandated attendance cap all hit hard at Dundee Ice Arena.

But ahead of Saturday night’s return to full capacity – and with a full roster to choose from for the visit of Manchester Storm – Pacha is confident his side are on the rise.

Last weekend’s sweep over Coventry Blaze and Sheffield Steelers has whetted the appetite of fans and players alike.

Now – hopefully in front of a sell-out Dundee crowd – the Stars’ boss wants his standings-climbing outfit to put on a show for the supporters who continued to back their club, even when they were locked out.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position now,” Pacha said.

“It’s been a strange time recently, particularly the last few months.

“Most recently, we’ve been restricted to 200 people per game.

“During that time, we asked our season ticket holders to park their tickets – just for now – and we sold those 200 tickets per game.

“We needed that revenue for cash flow, so to be able to sell those tickets for each game has been great – and the fans have been fantastic.

“The last game we played before the restrictions came in was in front of 5000 people in Belfast, so to go from 5000 to 200 was quite an experience.

“Financially, it was difficult for the club – and things were going really well before the restrictions.

“But the club is very fortunate to have a great fan base who recognise the hard work that goes in.

Dundee Stars fans at the club’s last annual “teddy toss”, after which over 200 soft toys were donated to Ninewells Hospital

“We’re very thankful as a club for everything they have been able to do.

“For now, moving forward, with the momentum we’ve got behind the team, being in reach of fourth or fifth spot in the standings, we’re expecting a huge crowd on Saturday night – probably one of the biggest Saturday night crowds we’ve ever had in January.

“We’re really excited and I know the guys are really looking forward to playing in front of a full Dundee Ice Arena.”

Stars sit seventh in the Elite League standings, two points behind Glasgow Clan and Guildford Flames and six behind fourth placed Nottingham Panthers, who are Sunday’s road opponents.

Their proximity to fourth place – and with two and three games in hand on Nottingham and Guildford respectively – is testament to recent efforts.

Now Pacha wants his players to make those results count by striking against the teams above them while they have the chance.

Dundee Stars’ Charlie Combs (right) comes under pressure from the Steelers’ David Phillips in last weekend’s victory

“We have to remember we started the year one and ten (one win and ten losses),” he said.

“We had numerous injuries, with five to six games in a row where we were missing five or six imports.

“But we got away from that and, prior to our first Covid protocol, we won six out of seven, so things were going good, then we had to go back into Covid protocol, so it’s been a weird process.

“But with the sweep last weekend – including beating Sheffield Steelers, the number one team in the league – hopefully now we can just build momentum and thank our fans for their support by having a strong finish to the season.

Dundee Stars head coach Omar Pacha addresses his players during practice at Dundee Ice Arena

“There’s a bit more than half of the year left and I’m confident in this group – and I think we can accomplish great things if we keep with the process.

“On Sunday against Sheffield there were three guys out and we’ve got that ‘next man up’ mindset in the group right now.

“It has been a challenging time, but we’ve got away from it and won four out of our last five league games.

“Hopefully we can build momentum now and we’re really excited for Saturday night.

“The team’s playing some good hockey, it’s great to have our fans back and hopefully we can put on a good display.”

Dundee Stars: Omar Pacha makes ‘best team in Scotland’ vow with puck set to drop on Elite League ice hockey return

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]