“WE’RE gutted but we have to bounce back” is Newcastle Vipers player/coach Danny Stewart’s verdict on last week’s Cup semi-final thrashing at the hands of Nottingham Panthers.
The Hillheads side travelled down with high hopes of making the final after a 4-3 success in the first leg, but they were blown out of the water the minute they put their skates on to ice.
A fired-up Nottingham proceeded to tear the Vipers apart and, as the goals rained in, they not only ended their cup hopes, they smashed them out of the water.
A thumping 15-0 thrashing left the Vipers shell-shocked. However, Stewart insists what’s done is done and his men must shake off that horrendous defeat as they prepare for this weekend’s double-header against Braehead Clan – and Nottingham Panthers.
“We played poorly that night and they played really well, and with the rosters that were on the ice when that happens you get results like that,” said Vipers boss Stewart.
“Nottingham did a good job of playing their game and they didn’t allow us to slow the game down.
“We couldn’t match their intensity – they were obviously fired up.
“Full credit to them, they have earned their place in the final. We have to put the result out of our minds and get back to work ready for next weekend.
“Yes we’ve got Nottingham again this Sunday, but I think it’s good that we’re facing them so soon after what happened as it gives us a chance to put things right and show our fans that we’re better than the performance we gave last time.
“But we have a trip to Braehead first and that will be a tough game given how tight our previous meetings have been.”
For the Panthers’ visit on Sunday, the Vipers will be donning an exotic shirt as part of the “Bash at the Bay” promotion.
Stewart added: “They are quite colourful and the sunglasses were needed, but it’s new and exciting and hopefully it will bring some extra fans in.”