Sheffield Steelers will rely on team-toughness tonight against a physical and on-form Cardiff Devils side.
Steelers’ skipper Jonathan Phillips accepts the Welsh club’s penchant for full-blooded contact will present a challenge.
The home side have a strong -arm player in Cullen Eddy and will hand a home debut to Danny Bois - but possess none of the enforcers of the past.
Devils have taken 100 League penalty minutes more than Steelers so far - only Braehead Clan and Fife Flyers have chalked up more.
Doug Clarkson and Trevor Hendrikx are the players most likely to throw their weight around at the Arena, this evening.
“Cardiff are a big physical team so they like to rely on that and get pucks deep and take the body and kind of play on energy” said Phillips. “We have got to take that energy away from them by doing what we do which is skating with the puck and possession.
“I think we have got team toughness. No one is going to back down and everyone sticks up for each other and I think the boys play hard, that’s our style, that’s the way we like it. Cardiff are a good team, they have skilled guys too. They are scoring goals so it is a tough game against them.”
Phillips can’t wait to see Danny Bois make his home debut, after recovering from concussion. “Obviously he is a great player, you can see that from the leagues he has played in and practising with him all week. More than anything it is going to be nice to get bodies back get people in the right positions again.”
Cardiff wrapped up a double victory over Belfast, last weekend. They leapfrogged over Giants to move to within four points of joint league leaders Braehead and Sheffield.
* Steelers have failed in a bid to bring in Canadian left wing Ryan Kinasewich, who played in Austria last year. He has accepted a deal in the KHL instead.