Sheffield Steeldogs face a tough weekend on the road as the battle for the NIHL 1 North title enters its final month.
The final Moralee Conference games are on March 11th and at present Telford are first, with the Steeldogs a point behind with a game in hand and Hull a further point back with two games in hand.
Saturday sees the Steeldogs travel to Telford with the Tigers then playing in Hull on Sunday, whilst the Dogs face a potential banana skin in the form of Billingham.
With the league so close, these games could have a huge impact on the final standings.
The Dogs banked another four point weekend with victories over Nottingham and Solihull and assistant captain Tim Smith knows that they need more of the same; “Every game is like a cup final for us from this moment onward - we are coming down to single figures for the season.
"We have a pivotal weekend coming up and with the games coming thick and fast, we have to apply ourselves in each game and do whatever it takes to win and get over that line.
“We have a difficult weekend ahead, both Telford and Billingham play their rinks very well.
"We are going to have to dig deep, make sure we are focused and take every bit of momentum we have got from last weekend into these games. We’ve got ourselves in this position by playing with our heart on our sleeve and if we can look ourselves in the eye and say we gave 100% then that is all we can ask for”.
Steeldogs Captain Lewis Bell had to be helped from the ice following a fall in to the boards during the Nottingham game and the team had to cope without him.
"He’s unlikely to be back this weekend but Smith is positive about the situation; “We are missing our captain and he is a very important part of the team - he is our leader.
"But the younger lads have stepped up brilliantly, they will get more ice time and they haven’t let us down. They can play in special team situations. I have every faith in the boys - let’s face it, if they weren’t good hockey players they wouldn’t be with us”.