Don’t be late if you are thinking of attending the Sheffield Steelers v Belfast Giants match tomorrow night.
Coach Gerad Adams is demanding a statement from his side after the first drop of the puck.
“Belfast are the champions, they are the bench mark we all set ourselves against and they are above us in the league” he says. “I know we have games in hand that would take us top but right now they have the points, they are a target.
“Braehead (Sunday’s opponents) are the young pups perhaps batting above their weight right now. Ryan Finnerty has them going, they are brash, physical and dangerous. It’s key how we come out of the blocks on both nights but especially Saturday. I’d like that first Steelers shift to set the tone for the weekend.
“We have to get the fans on board from the get-go, get the Arena buzzing. That first shift can help us do that, I want to see enthusiasm and energy. We need puck possession, to win the battles and compete.”
Despite the fact fourth-place Steelers have only played 12 League games, Adams describes this weekend a “massive.”
“It’s the top two teams, it’s a huge challenge. The reality is that this is the weekend we will learn more about the team and where we are than any other.”
Steelers won the only game of the season so far against Belfast, a 3-2 win in September with Colton Fretter scoring the game winning goal.
“Both teams have changed a lot since that games, both teams will have improved” said the coach.
“All our conference games are important, the series of games between ourselves, Belfast and Nottingham are key to our success. If you can win the series of eight games between your conference rivals you are setting yourself up with a great chance to land the big prize.
“That’s what makes Sunday equally as important. Braehead some would suggest have a slightly easier run playing more games against perhaps not as strong opponents in their own conference. That means when the Clan play the Panthers, the Giants or ourselves we have to take points off them and slow them down.
“Right now they are on fire and playing with confidence, that too has to come to an end on Sunday. I have great confidence in these players. We have already seen how they can play and how exciting they are. From shift one that can set the tone, engage the fans and make it a great weekend.
“On Monday morning when we wake up we will know a lot more about our hockey club.”