When Rob Dowd re-signed for Sheffield Steelers, he was greeted by a fanfare befitting a returning conqueror.
That was in the Summer.
But now in the depth of winter, with his club trailing leaders Belfast Giants, one of his former employers, by 19 points, Dowd and his team-mates are struggling to keep their League season alive.
“No, it (their current league position of fifth) wasn’t what I had in mind” admits the Teessider. “I came in fully focuses on winning the league title and at the moment it looks out of reach. But you never know, there might be some surprises. We need Belfast to go on a pretty horrible run.
“Last Saturday’s defeat (3-1 to Giants) was a bit of a downer, as we’d worked really hard to turn the ship around. But now we have to re-focus and start to get that winning habit again.”
Dowd was one of the skaters who slipped up against Giants - the puck turned over in his possession and Giants scored.
But the wing has made fewer mistakes than most, this season.
“I should have got the puck out (of the defensive zone) but in trying to chip it out it came back in - I should have done better.
“We cannot make mistakes against Nottingham Panthers on Saturday, they have so much firepower. We are now coming into crunch time. We need to beat them in the League and in the semi finals of the Challenge Cup. That will put a smile back on the faces of our fans.”