Gosford coach Mark Drennan expects his team to lift this weekend as they bid for a fifth straight Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League grand final appearance without the services of NSW representative Lain Carr.
The minor premiers, who have claimed three of the last four major titles featuring back-to-back efforts in 2017 and 2018, will be missing injured Carr for Sunday's preliminary final against Wests at Wyong (12pm).
Carr sustained the quad strain over the weekend, doubling up for Gosford in the opening round of play-offs after another full game for the Norwest Strikers in Sydney semis the day before.
"He [Carr] is a big loss for us," Drennan told the Newcastle Herald.
"He played full games on each day and both went to extra-time.
"He hasn't pulled up great and won't play this weekend. Plus he's got Hockey One coming up with NSW so he's got bigger fish to fry."
Gosford have the chance to emulate the previous title trifectas of Norths (2010-2012) and Souths (2004-2006) if successful against the Rosellas.
"We win this one and we're into a fifth straight grand final, going for three in a row," Drennan said.
"If that's not enough motivation, I don't know what is. They don't want to miss this kind of opportunity."
Ben Ferguson (knee) is also in doubt for the Magpies, who went down to grand final bound Norths in Sunday's major semi after a penalty shootout.
Wests coach Ryan Johnston said injured NSW representative Hayden Dillon (leg) will undergo a fitness test on game day to determine if he takes part in the do-or-die encounter.
The Rosellas have already progressed one step further than last year, reversing a minor semi loss against Souths with a 1-0 win over Maitland.
Meanwhile, the Newcastle District Women's Hockey Association premier league preliminary final sees title holders Oxfords host Gosford at Newcastle on Saturday (12.30pm) with the winner to meet minor premiers Souths in the 2019 decider.
Grand finals for both competitions will be held on September 21.