WILLIE NICOLSON reckons the Dundee derby in the SNL means more than a derby in the Elite League.
Nicolson’s Dundee Comets are taking on city rivals, Dundee Tigers in an Autumn Cup semi final first leg on Tayside on Saturday.
And the former Fife Flyers and Edinburgh Capitals D-man believes familiarity between the teams gives it more of an edge.
He said: “I don’t think you can compare an Elite League derby with a Comets-Tigers derby, as most of these guys have grew up playing against each other for years now.
“I think it means that little bit more to them than an import that’s stepped off a plane, who might not understand the history there is between both teams.
“So it will always be a special game no matter what the circumstances are, if it’s in the cup or just a friendly, both teams are always looking for a big win against each other.
“For example, I wouldn’t be surprised if Matty Michie, who plays for us, gets a hard time from the Tigers fans as he was their best player for many years now and kept them together at the back.
“As for Ciaran Hoggan however, I can’t see him getting any from the Comets fans. He was our goalie last season when Mark McGill left us and Ciaran came up big for us in a few games last year.
“That said, I think he’ll be out to prove a point.”
A final place against Paisley Pirates and Edinburgh Capitals is at stake for the winners of this derby, with the second leg to come at the end of October.
Comets stunned the rest of the league by beating Kirkcaldy Kestrels over two legs in the quarter finals to set up their two-legged date with the Tigers.
Nicolson admits he expected a much tougher affair with the SNL champions and believes his team have the edge going into this one.
He added: “We were expecting a much tougher game over in Fife, but Kestrels seemed to be pretty short benched in that game so we took advantage of that.
“They had most of their guys back for the return leg in Dundee and made it a tough night for us, but we still pulled through with the win.
“I wouldn’t say we where surprised, we knew what we had to do to get the job done, and it worked out for us. I don’t think we can really be classed as an outsider this season now, as we will be pushing for all trophies.
“But I think the start to the season we’ve had compared to the Tigers gives us an edge as they’ve had tough games to begin with.
“We are still unbeaten in all our matches so far and will be looking to continue that. Our game against Moray was never frustrating for us, it could had easily been 10-0.
“Their goalie played a blinder and stopped what felt like at least 70 shots in that game. The way we played there and our dominant win against Kestrels in the two games should be a big boost for us to take into this derby game.”