NEWCASTLE Vipers general manager Jaimie Longmuir praised his battling squad after last week’s superb 6-3 demolition of Dundee Stars.
A five-goal haul from Polish ace Jaroslaw Rzeszutko helped them on their way to victory at Hillheads which keeps their dreams of making the end of season play-offs very much alive.
Dundee currently hold that final available spot, but they now have the Vipers breathing down their necks as the regular season nears its close.
Cardiff Devils are next up for the Vipers and Longmuir is hoping his aces can keep the momentum up for the home straight.
He said: “It was an incredible victory. It was a pressure situation and again our coach and our players showed exactly what they are made of with another memorable night at Whitley Bay for the players and the fans.
“I have said it all season long and I don’t think anyone can dispute it, but this is a very special group of players as they play with so much pride, passion, commitment, togetherness and heart and these qualities were on display again last Saturday night.
“We have no right being in the race for a play-off spot given our predicament, but the players haven’t let this be an excuse and even recently with the devastating loss of John Schwarz via injury, we had every right to quit but again this group will just not give in and Saturday typified this.
“There were so many excellent performances on Saturday but it was a team effort and all the guys gave their absolute all and you have to with the number of bodies we have at present.
“Obviously Jaroslaw (Rzeszutko) will get a huge amount of credit having scored five out of the six goals and he fully deserves it with a truly amazing performance and there isn’t a guy out there who deserves it more than him.
“Not to mention that Effy (Charlie Effinger) has been a rock for us all season and he showed again on Saturday how good a goaltender he is.”
While Dundee was a crucial victory Longmuir wasn’t getting carried away with his side’s chances of play-off qualification.
He added: “Dundee are still in the driver’s seat – they have a three-point advantage and a favourable schedule in comparison to ours but we are still in the race somehow and that’s all we can ask.
“Our objective is to try and keep the race alive until the final weekend of the season when we have the home and away series versus Dundee in what could settle the race.
“But we have to do our job to allow that to happen and that’s starts with the visit of the Cardiff Devils to Whitley Bay on Saturday.”