Big weekend challenge for Sheffield Steelers against Belfast Giants and Cardiff Devils
Sheffield Steelers will this weekend face the two teams that have done them the most damage this season.
On Saturday, they face Cardiff Devils, whose overall prowess is leading them to the brink of an Elite League title.
But tomorrow, Sheffield travel - St Patrick’s Day - to Belfast Giants, who have also done well at Steelers’ expense this season.
While Paul Thompson’s men dispensed with Giants easily in October and November, they went on to lose four of the next five games against them.
In December, Steelers lost second place in the League table after a reverse in Northern Ireland. It was to stay that way.
The following month two back-to-back Belfast wins at the House of Steel pretty much ended Sheffield’s chances of landing the title.
Thompson confesses those defeats were “an absolute killer.”
Sheffield should be reinvigorated by last weekend’s four-point haul and hopefully the return of some casualties.
Colton Fretter and Markus Nilsson are hopeful returnees.
But Yared Hagos, who has upper body issues, will not ice and there may be question marks about his immediate future. Thompson said: “We’ve been looking at Belfast on video and they are flying at the moment.
“They are an explosive team and very similar to us in puck possession and general play.
“And they have just signed a very good defenceman (Canadian Jerome Leduc arrived from Czech Republic side HC Dynamo Pardubice.)”