Dundee CCS Stars set off for Nottingham on Friday as they prepared for the biggest weekend in their Elite League history.
Three hundred Stars’ fans will also make the trip south to roar on their heroes when they tackle Cardiff Devils in the play-off semi-final (1pm).
Stars coach Marc LeFebvre is looking forward to the challenge and insisted his men weren’t travelling south “just to make up the numbers”.
He said: “Everyone, including myself, the players and the staff are looking forward to the weekend.
“Although we are happy to be there, we know the job isn’t done yet. We’re not going down to make up the numbers, we are going to try to win the tournament.
“Since the club entered the Elite League set-up, we have won a Gardiner Conference title and now we have a chance to add the big one to our history.
While his men will be giving it their all to land the trophy, the Stars coach is under no illusions of just how big a challenge lies ahead.
He continued: “We face a tough game against Cardiff but it’s 60 minutes of hockey and anything can happen.
“Nobody outside of Dundee expected us to get past Braehead but we did and we are out to do the same against Devils.
‘The players have been so focused this week and are ready for the challenge.”
The Dundee side are in good shape squad-wise and LeFebvre will have them well drilled before the action gets under way this afternoon.
He also reckons the large following from Tayside can play their part as the team look to buck the odds and return with the trophy.
He added: “Surprisingly, we have no injury worries and will be at full strength.
“As we did last week, we will stick to our game plan and see where it takes us.
“We will have a huge support from Dundee behind us and that means so much to the players.
“We will be out to give them a weekend to remember.’
Stars reached the latter stages of the tournament courtesy of two impressive performances in their two-leg quarter-final against Braehead Clan last weekend.
They went into the tie as underdogs and upset the odds when they won both games, scoring six goals with the loss of only one.
The semi-final saw them draw the new league champions, Devils, in the first of the two last-four games, when, once again they will be the underdogs.
However, LeFebvre has stressed that’s something that won’t faze them, as they proved last weekend.
Stars are no strangers to play-off hockey during their short history. Twice, while playing in the now defunct British National League, they were crowned play-off champions — in season 2001/02, their inaugural season, and again in 2004/05. Their fans will be hoping they can repeat that success again.
Should Stars overcome Cardiff, they will face the winners of the Sheffield Steelers v Belfast Giants semi-final on Sunday. Giants ended Fife Flyers’ season in the quarter-finals.
Whatever happens over the weekend, Stars fans can feel rightly proud of their team.
The side struggled to find consistency throughout the campaign but coach LeFebvre always maintained they had it in them to match the best.
That belief has now been repaid and the Dundee side can now put the icing on the cake by lifting the trophy.