Coach Tom Barrasso reveals the best part of his job at Sheffield Steelers
Tom Barrasso has paid tribute to the "amazing" fans of Sheffield Steelers.
The American coach takes his place behind the bench for the next-to-last time in League action on Saturday, when the team welcomes champions Cardiff Devils for a showdown vital to both.
There will be yet another a bumper crowd - the support has remained in large numbers despite a sub-standard season.
That has not gone unnoticed with Barrasso, who in his playing days as a goaltender starred before big NHL attendances and TV audiences.
"Our fans are amazing" said the Sheffield coach.
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"The best part of my job is being able to coach in front of them.
"I know the players appreciate the passion they show towards the team. I believe Saturday’s crowd will be excited to see us compete and battle against the best team. Hopefully the fans' energy pushes the players to their best."
Cardiff have been on a five match winning roll since losing back-to-back games at their closest rivals at the top of the Elite League, Belfast Giants.
In three of those wins they have shut out their opponents, illustrating how the team builds on a strong defensive platform.
*Head coach Pete Russell has named a 28-man squad for Great Britain's training camp next month and matches against Italy and Hungary.
The squad includes Steelers Robert Dowd, Jonathan Phillips, Ben O'Connor, Davey Phillips and Jackson Whistle. The roster will reduced for back-to-back games against KHL side Torpedo; that squad will then get ready for the World Championship in Slovakia in May.