Sheffield Steelers 500-game veteran Rod Sarich expects a battle-royale at Nottingham Panthers tomorrow.
Nothing would give Panthers greater pleasure than derailing Steelers league title bid. But Sarich believes his side will do what they have to, to win the title.
“We have had some good battles against them already this year” said Sarich. “The last game against them in the Challenge Cup, that was a big one for us (a 6-4 win at the NIC.)
“It will be a grinding game, I wouldn’t expect anything different. They will play hard, they want retribution for that Cup game and we will be chasing the League.”
Sarich celebrated an amazing 500-game milestone, last weekend. Asked if the team he joined in 2005, which include the likes of Mark Dutiaume, Mike Peron and Ron Shudra, would have beaten the present day line up, he said: “I don’t know, we have got a pretty quick team, but Dutiaume was fast in his day. Peron and Shudra, those are good players. Peron was just like a tank going up the ice, bowling through people. It would be a good game!”
Of the present side he says: “It is as good a battling team as we have had over any year. Come Play Off time, we will be right for the fight.”
The 33-year-old originally came to Sheffield believing it might be a stop-off point from which to try his hand in Europe.
“I had some offers but things just seemed to fit here in Sheffield” he said. “I met my wife and bought a house so that anchors you a bit! But I have enjoyed my time in Sheffield, it has been a quick 10 years.”
Wednesday 18th March
Cardiff Devils 6 Edinburgh Capitals 3
Hull Stingrays 0 Coventry Blaze 1 (After Penalty Shootout)