Chad Huttel insists Sheffield Steelers can still retain their championship - no matter how unlikely that prospect appears to everybody else in the Elite League.
Sheffield are eight points behind leaders Belfast Giants, with three games in hand. They will probably have to win both their games in Northern Ireland.
And before that ultimate test, they have two games in three days this week against the dangerous Breahead Clan.
Huttel, a defenceman from Minnesota, accepts the challenge ahead is a difficult test, but says it’s no mission impossible.
“It is tough to go there and win, especially two games but that’s the situation we are in, so we’re just going to have to do it. It is do-able. We’ve won there already early in the season. We need things to go our way. But if we can control things we have a good shot at winning both games.
“Last Friday (3-2 Giants’ win) we threw our game at them and matched up well. A couple of different bounces and it would have been different. In lots of ways we outplayed them. But obviously we weren’t satisfied with that alone.”
Asked if he could see any possibility of Giants slipping up with the season reaching its climax, Huttel, 23, said: “That’s at the back of your mind, but we are not sitting here waiting for them to slip up. It’s probably not going to happen. We have to think about winning our games.
“It’s not an easy road we’re on but I have a good feeling about this group (of players.) After Friday’s defeat, the guys were pretty upbeat in locker room after we’d crunched the numbers.
“Yes, we’d made it harder on ourselves. But we are not out of it yet.”