Sheffield Steelers: Why Aaron Fox is predicting a 'different hockey game' in second part of Manchester double bill
Steelers know they will be facing a Manchester Storm team desperate to redeem themselves after their embarrassing collapse in Sheffield on Boxing Day.
Ryan Finnerty's team were pretty awful for large parts of the 7-0 loss - a humiliation witnessed by a sizeable following of their own supporters who had crossed the Pennines.
Anthony DeLuca scored seven points in the game - a feat unmatched in the last 10 years of EIHL play.
Storm's Canadian centre Jared Aulin went on twitter to post: “No way to put it, but embarrassing. That being said, to have the applause & support from our fans after losing like that is amazing. Thank you Storm fans for being you & thank you for continuing to support & encourage us even during the tough ones. We will be better!" Finnerty is relieved his side get a chance to get their own back so quickly, on Saturday night in Altrincham.
And his opposite number Aaron Fox recognises his high scoring team will have to batten down the hatches, there.
“That building is such a different hockey game," he said. "You go in there and the rink is so small and we haven't had a ton of success there. I know we were better the last time we played there but we didn’t need to win that hockey game (3-3; Challenge Cup.) We will find a way and be ready to go.”
At home, Steelers are building a fortress mentality, with nine wins out of the last ten.
While their last away game saw them hammer Glasgow Clan 5-1 and they have been beaten just once in the last six trips.
Steelers will soon have Jonas Liwing back to defend their position at the top of the league. He was “closer than anybody” to a return, Fox revealed. John Armstrong could be back for the looming Nottingham Panthers’ series.
Aaron Johnson and James Bettauer are a “couple of weeks” away.
Robert Dowd is out for months.
*Steelers were close to widening their gap on top of the division. On Boxing Day, it took a Joey Haddad shoot-out goal to hand second-placed Cardiff Devils victory over Guildford Flames. Devils have four games in hand over Sheffield.