Sarich relishes Panthers duels

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STEELER Rod Sarich has had six years of experience of playing against Nottingham Panthers.

The magic of playing in such high-tempo games never wears off.

And some of the bumps and bruises take a while to disappear, too.

The Arena side Sarich joined in 2005, containing names like Ron Shudra, Dennis Maxwell and Mike Peron, had some great battles with their nearest rivals.

Now the new crop of 2011-12 will be experiencing that rollercoaster derby feel of a Steelers v Panthers contest tomorrow.

The 30-year-old Canadian is stressing that both veterans and players new to the club have to be completely prepared.

“These game are high energy, high intensity and very physical,” he said.

“They are full of emotion and passion. You can’t help but be excited to play in them.

“Rest assured that our new players have heard enough about these games from the rest of us.

“They will be ready; if they’re not then they will soon know about it, because I’m sure Nottingham will come out flying.”

The offensive defenceman said: “I’m equally sure we will as well so there will be fireworks right from the get-go.

“Both teams have Saturday games (Steelers are at Dundee, Panthers at Hull) so they will be both warmed up and ready to let loose.

“We can’t have any cobwebs left over from the long trip back from Scotland on Saturday; we have to make sure we are ready to jump on Nottingham right away and set the tone not only for this game but for the whole year.”

Steelers goalie John DeCaro will have to be in similar form this weekend as he was last, if they are to get a maximum points haul.

Coach Ryan Finnerty said: “John played really well last weekend; he is not flashy. he just makes the saves. Unlike most goalies, he is a pretty normal guy off the ice too.”

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