The champagne is on ice at Sheffield as the Elite League season draws to a close, this weekend.
Cardiff Devils’ defeat at Belfast Giants on Wednesday was a massive boost for Paul Thompson’s team - they are now in the driving seat. Two wins (Nottingham, Saturday, home, 7pm, and Fife, away, Sunday, 6.30pm) will see them cross the line first and retain the League trophy - whatever Devils manage to do in their remaining games, against Manchester, Saturday, away, 6.30pm, and Nottingham, home, Sunday 6pm.)
In an ideal Steeler world, Devils will lose at Manchester and a home win at the Arena will see the title back at Broughton Lane. But as the season has been so filled with twists and turns, don’t bet on it.
Steelers know Panthers will be looking to ruin the party - and Sheffield bosses doubt that Panthers will be at their best at Cardiff on the Sunday, if they could prevent the championship going to the House of Steel. Yet Sheffield are in pole position and with three wins behind them, they will take some stopping.
Thompson said: “I was delighted with the Belfast result and yes, it’s in our hands now. We were always going to have to win these two games, that hasn’t changed. We know Nottingham will come in hard and wanting to upset the party. We just have to worry about us. There is a buzz around the place which is great, box office is going crazy, we know there will be up to 9,000 in on Saturday which is incredible. We can’t get caught up with all of that, we have to just focus on these games, one at a time.”