STEELERS will have to quell the offensive talents of two exciting Slovakian skaters if they are to be successful on Sunday.
Last weekend, Sheffield underestimated the attacking skills of one visiting Scottish side, Dundee Stars, and conceded five goals, though they still took both points.
This Sunday they welcome Edinburgh Capitals to iceSheffield. Principal contributors to a Capitals streak of five wins in seven games have been Slovakians Rene Jarolin (11 goals and nine assists in seven games) and Richard Hartmann (five goals in three.)
Steelers coach Ryan Finnerty said: “They have Euro guys who are scoring a bunch of goals and, once again, we won’t be able to take them lightly. Edinburgh have been on a really good run. Their [5-3] win over Braehead last Sunday shows how much they have improved.”
Finnerty accepts he has to demand defensive consistency from his second-placed Elite League side.
“It’s tough to say what the difference was last Saturday to last Sunday [when Sheffield shut out Coventry Blaze 2-0]. I guess our guys just bought into what we keep preaching about, working hard, sticking to the system and generally getting our act together from goaltender out through defence to forwards.
“The guys see what it takes for us to be successful. Last Sunday, they realised we are a good team. But we also accept that we cannot go anywhere and just put our sticks on the ice to win. When we have the right attitude, we win - and that result should give us confidence. But we need the same effort we showed at Coventry, every night.”
Blaze boss Paul Thompson said after Sunday’s game that Steelers gave his side their most harrowing time to date: “They smothered us. We just couldn’t get any offence going against them. It was frustrating.”