Hostile rink will suit title contenders

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SHEFFIELD Steelers must do tonight what they have struggled to do recently - stick to their game plan.

Braehead Clan is not the type of rink to head for when you are desperately chasing Belfast Giants, the league leaders and title favourites.

But defenceman Chad Huttel, dropped from Sunday’s win over Hull Stingrays is keen to be part of the action tonight. He said: “I like playing at Braehead. The fans are right on top of you in a semi-hostile atmosphere, but it’s fun. We need to win and it’s not easy to do - they are getting better every day,” said the American.

“We never make it easy on ourselves, our team wouldn’t have it any other way! The important thing is that we need to operate our systems properly.

“Everybody has to be on the same page, at times we are not, we are working hard but not always smart. We have to play together.

“We almost want to win too much and start doing our own thing. But if our special teams can do well and we can play with fire and grit we’ll be alright.”

Reflecting of the issue of dropped imports, he said: “I’m a competitor; I want to play. I want to do everything I can to make the team win so it’s frustrating. But we have a lot of good players, we have to get them in the line up. It’s a long season, there are still weeks of battling and taking hits, guys have to be ready.”

Huttel is pleased to see fit-again Rod Sarich back in the fray - even if it makes defensive slots more competitive to nail down. “Roddy is such a good player,” said Huttel.

“I don’t know if everyone around here realised how good he was until he was out. He is a key part of this team. Matt Stephenson is a hell of a player, but Roddy has been in this league a long time and we needed him back.

Luke Fulghum will be looking to find his scoring touch in Scotland tonight - he has failed to chart a point in four out of the last five games.