Sheffield Steelers: Nottingham Panthers clash the perfect time for a big Arena performance says Kevin Schulze
Steeler Kevin Schulze is the first to accept that last Saturday's home defeat put the downer on many a Sheffielder's weekend.
Sheffield dropped two league points to Guildford Flames in the 4-6 defeat and were scolded by coach Aaron Fox, who thought some of the players were slow and lazy and the defence and goaltender were "left out to dry."
The team avenged that loss the following night in Surrey, going to the top of the EIHL table.
But Schulze and the rest of the squad know the vast majority of the Steelers' audience will have missed that road win.
"It was not a good performance at home, especially for a Saturday night, they come out to watch us play and win and we disappointed them" admitted the 28-year-old American.
The defenceman admits that he has found it difficult to wrap his head around the importance of regular League games as opposed to play offs.
"Growing up in north America, it is a lot different. It is more play off style," he said.
"But every game you have got to bring your best, no matter what."
Schulze said the home defeat had been a "little bit of a wake-up call."
"We need to bring it every night no matter what the opponent, where, anything."
The home clash with Panthers will be the perfect stage to make it up to Arena fans, says Schulze. Panthers won 5-3 at the Arena in a challenge match watched by 8,627 fans last month.
"They are 45 minutes down the road so it is a big rivalry and hopefully we can put on a good performance."
Nottingham have enjoyed a 100 per cent record in the Cup so far, they have won both their games against Manchester Storm.
Meanwhile, Robert Dowd's match-winning hat-trick at Guildford Flames was his FIFTH in Steelers' colours.
He first notched a triple back in 2008 in his first full season at the Arena, in a 6-3 win over Nottingham Panthers.
Three years later he repeated it, this time in a bizarre 18-1 execution of Edinburgh Capitals.
Four goals came his way up at Fife Flyers in 2018.
And, according to steelersstats.co.uk Dowd hit three more in an 11-0 midweek hiding of Cardiff Devils. That was back in 2015.