Sheffield Steelers 'little guys' won't be pushed around - Anthony DeLuca
Beware of Sheffield Steelers' 'little guys' - they pack a punch when they need to.
That's Anthony DeLuca's opinion, as the skater gets ready for this weekend's challenge...and recovers from "chippy" previous encounters with HK Poprad.
The Canadian forward suffered a nasty gash across the bridge of his nose following skirmishes last weekend in Steelers' first two 'friendlies' before the season-proper starts.
DeLuca said the newly-formed roster had shown a lot of character in the matches against a pacey and sometimes aggressive Slovakian outfit, at iceSheffield.
Not least of all because Steelers had come back from 0-3 down in the first match.
"It got a little chippier than we thought" said DeLuca when asked about his facial injury.
"Things happen, that's the game, right. No harm, no foul, it's done now."
Referring to Poprad's dislike of him and feisty team-mate Brendan Connolly, in particular, he said: "I think they were trying to pick on the little guys and they found out the little guys have a lot more attitude than they thought.
"We are a tough team this year, we won't let ourselves be thrown around; the (bigger) guys always had our back.
"It is character, we are not going to be thrown around. We are a character team, offensively, defensively, but also toughness wise.
"We have got guys who can throw the body around and we showed it."
DeLuca, a fan favourite after a half-season with the club last year, said the new team was a completely different entity from the side that ended seventh in the Elite League and failed in the other domestic competitions.
He said the current side would compete hard, to give themselves the chance of winning silverware.
"We were expecting to have a good team, I think we showed that" he added.
DeLuca and his buddies will play at the Arena for the first time this season, when the team plays MAC Budapest, their final pre-season match.
Coach Aaron Fox has previously stated that the results were not important, at this stage.
But after two wins, a third would put further wind behind the team's sails before they open the Challenge Cup campaign against Nottingham Panthers.