Sheffield Steelers must overcome Fife Flyers to keep abreast of competitors in the play off scramble, says Tom Zanoski
Tom Zanoski believes Sheffield Steelers are about to embark on what is effectively an 'eight-point weekend' during their back to back games with Fife Flyers.
The Scots are one point and one place above seventh-spot Steelers in the EIHL rankings.
And they have an opportunity to widen that gap on Thursday, when they host Cardiff Devils - one of four games they have in hand over Tom Barrasso's men.
Forward Zanoski believes the results between his club and Fife are more important than ones against the league's leading pair Cardiff and Belfast Giants.
He said the task ahead was "probably bigger" than last weekend when Steelers beat Giants but lost to Devils.
The leading clubs are not the ones who are "matching up with us in points" he said. "Fife is, these are four point games so they are even bigger because we are so close in the standings. Next weekend is a huge huge weekend for us.
Zanoski, who after 15 games in the EIHL has yet to play Fife, admitted it had been tough for his team to find a stretch of wins in a row saying: "We have to squeeze as hard as we can and give all we have got. I think this is a team that can definitely be very successful when we can get into that play off spot."
The 35-year-old Croatia international, who has four goals and one assist to his name so far - has enjoyed opportunities further up the line structure at the club - following the unfortunate suspension of Jordan Owens - and been happy to be granted time on special teams.
"I feel I can bring some positive stuff to that area of the game" he said.
Sheffield are desperate to stay in the top eight play off qualifying group, and are five points ahead of Dundee Stars who are in ninth, although Stars have three games in hand.
Steelers have six games left to ensure they get safely through, the Fife series, Devils, Belfast and bottom club Milton Keynes Lightning (twice.)
The regular campaign finishes on Sunday March 31.
The play off quarter finals are scheduled for Saturday, April 6.