Colton Fretter may be new to British ice hockey.
But he has seen enough in his first few games with Sheffield Steelers to know that the Elite League will be highly-competitive this season.
All of Steelers’ last four games have been won or lost by a single goal.
And the last two games have been concluded by penalty shots and overtime -further proof that there is a wafer-thin difference between sides this term.
Fretter, who has scored 3+3 in seven games for Sheffield, accepts there will be no easy nights.
“There are some good teams in this league. I am new here and just getting to know them, but it seems like every game is a battle and that’s what makes hockey fun.”
Fretter says every game is important, but he knows how pumped up the fans will be on Saturday, for the visit of Nottingham Panthers.
“I understand that they are close rivals but we’ll approach it like any other game and try and get those two points” he said.
The 32-year-old forward, who played nearly 200 AHL games, had his first game at Sheffield Arena, last Saturday. “It’s a great rink. Everyone says the ice is pretty good, but it was pretty wet at the end. Ice is a big thing with our team. We are a fast team, skilled team, so hopefully that can improve. It was a great atmosphere, good fans.”
Sheffield, having played three league games, are third in the league, trailing Coventry and Belfast, both of whom having played more games.
Champions Belfast were on the end of an astonishing 6-1 home defeat to Fife Flyers last weekend. But they will go two points clear of Coventry at the top of the table on Friday if they beat Cardiff on Friday.
Giants’ big defeat followed a similar experience for Nottingham, who were clobbered 6-1 at home by Hull Stingrays on Saturday. Notts goalie Craig Kowalski was substituted after the fourth goal at 37.57 and was clearly unhappy with his defence.