British ice hockey will be better able to judge how good the new Sheffield Steelers team is after this weekend.
The new-look side makes its first trip to the 6,500 near sell-out Nottingham Panthers’ arena tonight - a match which is always a test of character, as well as playing ability and toughness.
Then Steelers host the reigning champions, Belfast Giants, at iceSheffield.
Steelers have won at Cardiff Devils and have twice beaten Fife Flyers, but a four-point weekend now would probably see them as early favourites.
On-form Mathieu Roy has been told what to expect against these two rivals by team-mates and supporters alike: “I have never played against those guys, but I heard good things and they will be two big games,” he said.
“We had a meeting with the fans and they were telling me to get ready for the Nottingham game; it is going to be crazy out there.”
This weekend could be the last fans see of Devin Didiomete in a Steelers’ jersey. He came in, short term, for the suspended Tyler Mosikeno, who will be back next weekend.
And his term will come to a close unless Pascal Morency’s concussion has failed to clear completely.
Morency has been skating earlier this week but is rated 50-50 for the Panthers’ game and will seek a doctor’s advice before deciding on his availablity.
*Sheffield Steeldogs are asking fans of both big city clubs to donate to hospitalised boxer Jerome Wilson’s recovery fund tonight.
They are doing a bucket collection at their English Premier game with Milton Keynes. Dogs are chasing their first League win of the season.