Play Off passion needed for Steelers

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RYAN FINNERTY says Play Off hockey will start early for Sheffield Steelers this season.

His side need to win both Friday and Saturday’s League games in regulation time to put them in the position to retain the Championship.

That means his side will have to exhibit the same passion and fire that teams sometimes reserve for the end of season Play Off tournament.

Asked if his team will go into the Odyssey Arena with a gung ho attitude, Finnerty replied: “Yes I think we have to. We can’t look at it as a two game series, we have to focus on the first entirely for now and then we’ll approach the other.

“We can’t go to overtime and that’s because of problems we created for ourselves. But we are where we need to be, we are still competing, still in it. Our guys are up for the challenge and excited. All the pressure is on Belfast. We are going there with nothing to lose, we have beaten them before there and we can do it again. We are going with a purpose. It’s Play Off hockey.”

Steelers started the last two games slowly - and that can’t happen again, says the player coach.

“That’s definitely something we have to address. Once we score we seem to wake up but that’s not going to be good enough at Belfast. Winning these matches is a big ask, absolutely. But weirder things have happened.

“For us, this is do or die. For north American guys it’s the hockey you want to play in - and we’re up for it.”