The Nottingham Panthers man Sheffield Steelers must target
One man made the difference when Sheffield Steelers lost to Nottingham Panthers, the last time they played each other.
And on Saturday night, coach Paul Thompson is hoping his men will find a way to limit the game-winning influence of Danish goaltender Patrick Galbraith.
The teams meet in the Play Off semi final, a few weeks after Panthers won 3-2 in Sheffield and Galbraith stopped an astonishing 58 shots.
He had faced twice as many as Ervins Mustukovs in the opposite net but his agility and consistency broke the hearts of most of the 8,263 Arena fans, that evening.
Thompson said: “Galbraith was the game-winner last time and this week we have been looking at ways of getting around him.
“He is a quality goalie - in fact Nottingham have had two of them this year, a DEL goalie (Galbraith played in Germany) and a KHL one (Michael Garnett played in Russia, Slovakia and Croatia.)”
The calm and collected Galbraith, 32, strong on technique and concentration, led Panthers to a quarter final success over Belfast Giants and Thompson expects him to be a tough nut to crack at the NIC.
“You have to give Panthers credit in their semi final, they came back from 3-0 down (first leg) and then went on to score late (overtime) and that showed a lot of character.
“The team is deep and skilled but we too have shown some mental strength lately.
“I sensed a strong mindset in the quarter final and we are looking forward to Saturday for what I am sure is going to be a fantastic occasion. ”
Galbraith said the team wants to be “hot and buzzing” by the time they skate out on Saturday.
“It is going to be fun” he said.