Sheffield Steeldogs came through a tough period on the road to take maximum points - but by the closest of margins.
Conceding after 46 seconds to the Solway Sharks, who dominated the NIHL last season, was a bad start.
But once Ben Morgan’s team shook off their bus legs, they came in to the game, eventually taking the win in overtime, thanks to a dramatic goal from Milan Kolena.
The following night in Blackburn was a real battle and when the Hawks took the lead late in the first period, the Steeldogs were chasing the game.
Netminder Dmitiri Zimozdra faced 36 shots and stone-walled the home side for the rest of the night, keeping his team in the game. Ashley Calvert finally found the net with just 98 seconds left, ensuring another overtime session for the weary Dogs.
Kolena was again the man for the game winner, this time on a penalty shot awarded after Ashton in the Hawks goal, kicked his net off for the umpteenth time.
Four hard earned points ensuring Sheffield remain top of the league. Having played a huge part in the two victories, netminder Zimozdra thinks the team are moving in the right direction; “Four points is massive for us, massive in terms of the league points and where we are.
"Now we’re at the top, you’re going to have every team up for these kind of games - like we were against Telford. When people come to our barn, they are going to be up for it.
"The games are a lot tighter, teams are looking forward to playing us.
“I think there’s a belief in the room this year - all the boys are pumped after battling to maximum points at the weekend. We have to make sure we’re doing the little things right, making the passes, getting the pucks in deep, getting the shots in.
"We need to play well offensively and defensively, keep playing to the system Morgs (Coach Ben Morgan) has put in place. From my point of view, I’m just hoping to stop the pucks and give a chance for my team mates to get the wins”.
Steeldogs will look to extend their winning run to six games when they play the Whitley Warriors on Sunday.
The game is at iceSheffield, face-off at 5:30.