The secret of Sheffield Steelers success so far, by Colton Saucerman
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Steelers' latest win kept them at the top of the EIHL division and maintained their run which now stands at 10 victories from 11 games.
Saucerman, who has played more minutes than anyone on the roster, has no doubt why they have achieved such a good start.
"We have really bought in to what we are trying to do system-wise and I think when we execute our systems well" he said.
"We create chances for ourselves. I think it is a team-first concept and that is what winning hockey is."
Sheffield haven't lost a third period since a match at Coventry Blaze on October 8, one which they went on to win 5-2.
"I feel that our best period over the course of the season so far is the third period and we are definitely looking to continue to improve our starts and making sure we are still solid through the second period" he said.
"We really do take over in the third period. By the time the game is 40 minutes played we are ready to go."
The big-minutes defender says all hockey players like to be out there on the ice, rather than sat on the bench.
"I take my job as a defenceman very seriously and I love being on the ice against the other team's top line."
He enjoys it when he can help out offensively as well (he is the club's top-scoring defenceman with two goals and seven assists.)
"I am just ready when they tap me and tell me I need to go on."
The 31-year-old from Colorado Springs, USA has had the lion's share of the minutes at other teams.
He said that was because he was a "responsible player on defence and I think over the course of my career I have gotten more playing time the more responsible defensively I was."
Overall, he did "whatever the team needs me to do" and said he tried to exhibit a good attitude and energy.
That positivity was obvious after last weekend when British skater Cole Shudra scored a goal and an assist.
"It is huge when guys like him chip in with points," said the blue liner. "I am so happy for him; I see the work he puts in, in practice."
Shudra was a "fantastic guy" who will gain more confidence, he added.
Sheffield host Nottingham Panthers in another Challenge Cup group tie on Saturday.
While the results have gone the way of South Yorkshire so far, Saucerman is taking nothing for granted.
"Nottingham are a good team, we will have our hands full," he said.