9,000 reasons why Sheffield Steelers need to keep that winning feeling

It's human nature to relax, kick back, and enjoy the moment when your team has accomplished championship status.
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Shoulders dropped and bottles were popped as Sheffield Steelers celebrated their league and Challenge Cup double in style.

They had won the league with five matches to spare, each of the future games now being ones where points aren't anywhere near as important as they have been.

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In the afterglow of success, Coach Aaron Fox predicted his players were "probably going to fall off a bit for the next week."

So it will be interesting to see how intent they will be in maintaining their impressive momentum, starting with Saturday's home game against second-place Cardiff Devils.

Fox will probably rest players who have played through injuries - or in goaltender Matt Greenfield's case, would simply benefit from a break.

But there are 9,000 reasons why Sheffield should keep their foot on the gas against Cardiff.

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That's the bumper attendance figure the players will be parading their skills in front of.

Relaxing time for Sheffield SteelersRelaxing time for Sheffield Steelers
Relaxing time for Sheffield Steelers

It is the season's last Arena home game, and the fans would love to see them go out on a high.

But there is another point worth bearing in mind.

Cardiff have beaten Sheffield three times this season - their last two meetings resulted in 4-1 and 4-0 wins for the Welsh.

Pete Russell's play-off hunting team will want to reduce the EIHL points margin between themselves and the champions and show they can repeat October's 3-2 win at Sheffield Arena, as they look for a confident run into the play offs.

Rob Wilson and former Sheffield team mate Paddy O'ConnorRob Wilson and former Sheffield team mate Paddy O'Connor
Rob Wilson and former Sheffield team mate Paddy O'Connor
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Cardiff have lost four games in March and really need to find a winning rhythm.

On the other hand, Steelers have clocked up two four goal wins over Devils and are clearly the more consistent side over the 49 games both have played so far this season.

Meanwhile, former Steelers' skipper Rob Wilson has earned a jaw-dropping EIGHT year contract extension as head coach at Peterborough Petes, a junior team in the Ontario Hockey League.

“I’m extremely happy and honoured to sign this long-term deal with the Petes,” said Wilson.

Rob Wilson - a good deal in Canada!Rob Wilson - a good deal in Canada!
Rob Wilson - a good deal in Canada!
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“It’s been a great experience over the last six years building a programme that everyone in the Petes family is proud of.

"It’s a great privilege to get to work with these young athletes and watch them grow and mature into young men on and off the ice.”