With typical understatement, Steelers have started dubbing talisman Mathieu Roy the ‘King of Sheffield.’
The French Canadian left winger is certainly in eye-catching form this season.
He is the club’s top scorer and selflessly puts his body in harm’s way every single shift he is out on the ice.
Steelers certainly rely on him.
In fact, when he fails to score - and that’s not often - Steelers tend to lose.
So far, this season they have lost eight times in various competitions, including a friendly, and the hockey warhorse - who celebrates his 30th birthday on Monday - only found the net in one of those defeats.
Last Sunday, at Dundee Stars, he and every other forward was off target at bottom-of-the-League Dundee Stars, and the club paid for it with their first defeat in six contests and first shut out of the campaign.
Many fans will be relying on Roy to help spark a more clinical offence, when the champions entertain Nottingham Panthers at home on Saturday.
Certainly the Steelers’ coach will.
“Mathieu is a huge influence on us, we rely on him - but all teams rely on their best players. Think: Real Madrid and Ronaldo - Messi and Barcelona” said Paul Thompson.
“When he doesn’t score he gets more mad than anyone else, he’s is real grumpy!
“He gets his goals because of his high work rate, and the fact he goes in all the ‘dirty’ areas and takes a beating that other guys won’t.”
Ironically, Roy has the same points haul as former Steeler now Panther Chris Lawrence, both of whom have 10 points.
Games with Panthers are among the highlights of the season - tonight the stage is set for the ‘King.’
FACTSPOT: Honours were even when Sheffield and Nottingham met in the Challenge Cup in September.
Mathieu Roy scored in both group games.
The first game was tight: with 2-2, 2-1, 3-2 periods in Steelers’ favour, for a 7-5 loss.
Ditto the second game, which went 1-1, 2-3, 0-0. It was Sheffield’s first domestic defeat, but it didn’t stop Thompson’s men ultimately topping the group.
Big crowd watched both games: Sheffield Arena being the bigger draw with 7,138 attending.
The NIC Nottingham attracted 6,183, five days later.
Friday 11th November
Belfast Giants 4 Fife Flyers 0
Manchester Storm 2 Dundee Stars 3 (PS)
Challenge Cup Group B
Nottingham Panthers 2 Coventry Blaze 1
Saturday 12th November
Belfast Giants v Cardiff Devils – 7.00pm
Fife Flyers v Edinburgh Capitals – 7.15pm
Manchester Storm v Braehead Clan – 7.00pm
Sheffield Steelers v Nottingham Panthers – 7.00pm
Sunday 13th November
Coventry Blaze v Braehead Clan – 5.15pm
Dundee Stars v Sheffield Steelers – 6.30pm
Challenge Cup Group A
Edinburgh Capitals v Belfast Giants – 6.00pm
Challenge Cup Group B
Cardiff Devils v Manchester Storm – 6.00pm