Match Preview – Pacific FC v HFX Wanderers FC: Quick turnaround from mid-week defeat gives Tridents chance to bounce back

Just a few days after that tough loss in the Ferryside Derby, Pacific FC welcomes HFX Wanderers FC to the Island for a classic East Coast/West Coast battle. The Tridents are plenty motivated to move on with the season by putting in a dominant performance against the Wanderers and have turned their full attention towards bouncing back in this important match.

Despite the long journey from Halifax to Vancouver Island, the Wanderers always put up a good fight against the Tridents in the past. The East Coast side has also looked much better in some areas to start the season than previous versions of the team. However, with the North Star Shield now being the singular focus for Pacific, the Tridents will come out looking to really make a statement to the rest of the league.

Saturday’s match is also Pacific’s Help Fill A Dream Match, one of the most special nights on the year. Festivities for the whole family – including a dunk tank – as well as a dream being fulfilled and presented on the pitch just before kickoff, are just a couple of reasons why this match will be a great day all-around at Starlight Stadium.

Trends and Stats

With the loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday, Pacific is now out of the Canadian Championship and will have their full attention towards winning the Canadian Premier League. The Tridents haven’t picked up a win in back to back matches now, with that loss preceded by a draw away in Winnipeg. After a slow start in the goals department, Pacific picked a good rhythm offensively during the first half of May with 10 goals in three games. With just one goal in the last two games now, the squad needs to find that connectivity again.

The visitors have been incredibly consistent in terms of the results to open the season. Five draws from their first five matches were followed by a loss in their last match. Despite still being winless in the new season, the Wanderers have looked better than they did in 2022. Under new head coach Patrice Gheisar, Halifax completes the most passes per game and have a relatively solid defensive record.


The all-time head to head stands at six wins for Pacific, four for Halifax, and four draws. Both clubs enjoy good success at home, but also picked up great away wins last season. In the last match between these two, Pacific won a late-season away match 2-0 to help their playoff push get over the line. And in the last meeting at Starlight, Halifax went back home with a 3-0 win in their pocket.


“Our guys want to play another game straight away. Two days is quick but honestly we feel it’s the best thing for us right now. We debriefed yesterday and now today we’re preparing for Halifax. It’s about turning all the mentality, the frustration, and everything towards this match” — Pacific FC head coach James Merriman

Keys to Victory

This match is all about how fast you can shake off a tough defeat. Halifax is a good team, but are bottom of the table for a reason. They keep the ball well and build up as a unit with fluidity, but they are a bit soft when the game is taken to them. If the Tridents can impose their high-pressing, possession-based game on the Wanderers, they could very well overwhelm the visitors. Halifax has also thrown away the lead in five of their seven matches so far, so if the Wanderers do take the lead, the Tridents can’t switch up their gameplan. Play with purpose in attack while staying solid as a back five, and Pacific can pick up an important three points on Saturday.

Match Facts to Know

  • Help Fill A Dream’s first filled Dream, way back in 1986, was for a young girl who wanted to meet her grandmother who lived in Nova Scotia. Help Fill A Dream flew the young girl to Halifax to fulfill her dream, so it’s appropriate that Pacific FC are playing Halifax Wanderers FC in the Help Fill A Dream Match this season.
  • Since 1986, Help Fill A Dream has made Dreams come true and provided assistance to nearly 4,000 kids in 87 different Vancouver Island communities.
  • Help Fill A Dream was started right here in Victoria by a BC Transit operator, 36 years ago. BC Transit still remains a loyal supporter of Help Fill A Dream to this day. Check out the amazing, colourful Help Fill A Dream wrapped bus on the North Side of Starlight Stadium on Saturday.

It’s not too late to get your tickets for the match! Join the action at Starlight Stadium with one of our many ticket options, which can be found here!