Cardiff Fire Head Coach Mark Cuddihy and Assistant Coach Mark Smith are confident the team can break their winless run, and believe the teams first win of the year will be coming soon.
Speaking after the teams training session on Thursday night ahead of this weekends fixtures, Both Cuddihy and Smith spoke of the steps forward the team has taken since the beginning of the season.
“This first win’s going to come, I believe that. The boys had a good practice tonight and we’re improving game in game out” Assistant Coach Smith said after the teams Thursday night practice.
“I really think things are going to tilt our way, just because our work ethic has come along and the guys we have are just sticking to the system and really want to get that win. It’s just a matter of time”
After two-years dominating the NIHL 2 League, Head Coach Cuddihy said that despite the consistent losses this year, it’s actually easier for him to motivate his squad this year than it has been over the past two campaigns.
“It was harder to motivate them last year, we won every league game last year and we lost one league game in two-years. The guys turned up at the rink with a different attitude over those two-seasons” Cuddihy said when asked how he’s able to motivate his team through such a tough season.
“They know it’s real now. They know they’re in the second tier of British hockey so it’s quite easy to motivate them.
“If you ask the guys, when you start playing hockey you want to go to the best league you can be in and play at the highest level you can and I think that’s motivation enough for most of the guys.”
The Fire faces off against the London Raiders at Ice Arena Wales on Saturday before hitting the road to take on the Invicta Dynamos on Sunday night.
Last time out against the Raiders, the side from London took an 11 – 4 victory on home ice, thanks largely in part to a dominant performance from their top line.
Both Matthew Turner and Marek Nahlik netted hat tricks and added three assists, while Olegs Lascenko scored twice and provided four helpers to give all of the top line six-point nights each.
Now with a defence that is improving with each outing, led from the very back by the stellar performances from recent GB Under 20s call up Jordan Lawday, they’ll look to keep it a much tighter scoreline when the Raiders make the trip to South Wales.
Despite some heavy defeats through the current campaign, the Fire has managed some improved performances as of late, most recently in a 4 – 2 loss to the Milton Keynes Thunder last weekend, where both Michael Stratford and Kalle Allner got on the board for Cardiff.
With the Fire, almost halfway through the season, and still searching for their first points in 15 games, Head Coach Cuddihy has quelled any discussion of the Fire moving down leagues in the near future.
“I’ve had people say to me are you going to stay in this league? And absolutely we are. What’s the point in going back to what we were doing? It was boring and what we’re doing now, everyone’s challenged.”
After this weekends fixtures, the Fire has one more game in December as they face a tough road trip to Swindon to take on the Wildcats before the ring in the new year on home ice against the Raiders once more at Ice Arena Wales on the sixth of January.
Feature Picture Credit – Oliver Hampson