Sheffield Steeldogs welcome Swindon Wildcats to iceSheffield on Sunday (5.30pm) after a long road trip to face third placed Basingstoke Bison the night before.
After a decent start for Steeldogs’ new coach Andre Payette last weekend, who was “happy with the way the team responded” by bagging the points needed to lift Sheffield back into a play-off position, this weekend represents a bigger challenge.
With results going the way of both of Steeldogs’ upcoming opponents in previous clashes this season, Sheffield will need to find another gear to pick up some points. Swindon, who lie in seventh place, just three points ahead of Sheffield, come off a comfortable 11-2 win over Telford and their new import, Jonas Hoog, was a hat-trick hero for Swindon against Steeldogs in their last meeting.
The key to beating Wildcats, appears to be in shutting down their forwards, Hoog in particular, although coach Ryan Aldridge had complained in January that his forwards were mis-firing. Both Payette and Aldridge will be fighting to prove themselves this weekend, maybe going toe-to-toe as they did last time.
Basingstoke, tomorrow, will be a stiff task. They have only met twice this season, but the scoreline has been weighted heavily in favour of Bison,. However, that was before Payette, Janis Ozolins and Steve Duncombe signed.