Sheffield Steelers have been beaten three times by Nottingham Panthers in recent weeks.
Twice on the ice over Christmas, and just as significantly, in the transfer market.
Panthers sealed a deal to bring in right wing/entre Jason Williams, whose resume includes nearly 500 games in the NHL. Ironically, it was the 36-year-old veteran who put Steelers to the sword with two game winning goals.
Steelers had had no idea that Williams had become available after a couple of games with Italian side Ritten/Renon.
Coach Paul Thompson said: “I didn’t know about Williams, he has been the perfect pick up for Nottingham” he said. “But we are not desperate for a new player - just determined to find the right guy.
“In the next week we should have Andreas Valdix back and he makes a huge difference to us, he’s one of the best centremen in the league, a point a game
guy who gets the best out of Robert Dowd and Levi Nelson.
“We are looking for a right-shot who will give us what we’d hoped to get from Jesse Schultz (released this week.)
“Results haven’t been going our way, but I think we will have a change of fortunes soon.”
Asked if anybody else on the team was at risk, Thompson replied: “Not at this point, no. But if poor results continue we will look to improve our hockey club in any way we can.”
Steelers host Manchester Storm today (3pm) after losing six of their last 11 games - a points haul that will spend disaster to the club’s title ambitions unless form is improved.
Meanwhile, last night’s win by Belfast means they are eight points clear of Sheffield, in second place.
Steelers have four games in hand.
Nottingham Panthers are now on the same number of points as Steelers, but have played two games more.
Friday 30th December
Belfast Giants 5 Braehead Clan 3
Saturday 31st December
Edinburgh Capitals v Fife Flyers – 4.00pm
Nottingham Panthers v Coventry Blaze – 3.00pm
Sheffield Steelers v Manchester Storm – 3.00pm
Sunday 1st January
Cardiff Devils v Dundee Stars – 4.00pm
Manchester Storm v Sheffield Steelers – 5.30pm
Monday 2nd January
Belfast Giants v Coventry Blaze – 4.00pm
Fife Flyers v Braehead Clan – 6.00pm
Nottingham Panthers v Edinburgh Capitals – 4.00pm