Kalcrest Sheffield Steeldogs will regroup from their Cup Final mauling to take on arch rivals Manchester Phoenix on Saturday in the final War of the Roses clash of the regular season.
Andre Payette’s men need to beat their Lancashire rivals to level the series, which would be another incredible achievement, and keep hold of their third in the table position.
Payette said: “I’m looking forward to a great game against Manchester. We have run them close all year and for us to have a chance to catch them in second place, we have to win on Saturday (7.30pm). They’ve been hard battles and I’m expecting this to be the climax.”
Steeldogs will be at full strength and determined to hold on to their home winning streak in the League as they complete their weekend double-header with the visit of Swindon Wildcats on Sunday (5.30pm).
Steeldogs meet up with the Wildcats again in a quick re-match after last weekend’s 5-1 on-the-road defeat.
Tickets available on the door at iceSheffield for both games: Adult £9, Concession £6.50, Child £3.50 (Under-8s free), Family £20. See www.sheffieldsteeldogs.co.uk for more details.
Meanwhile it was a step too far for Steeldogs in their EPL Cup Final first leg against Championship favourites Guildford Flames as they dipped to a 6-3 home defeat.
The loss of top scorer Janis Ozolins after six minutes for a match penalty proved decisive as the visitors netted two powerplay goals. Flames added two more as they raced into a 4-0 lead after just 12 minutes but Steeldogs hit back with two-in-a-minute from Payette and Man of the Match Pavel Gomeniuk.
Unfortunately Guildford made it six before Payette bagged his second and his team’s third.
“I felt it was like getting punched in the stomach when we lost Ozolins so early in the game and then going down by four goals by the time the penalty had expired,” added Payette. “However I was proud of my team in battling back for the rest of the game and pulling back three goals. I thought we deserved better.”
The return leg takes place at the Spectrum on March 28.