The rush of emotions that Steeler Rob Dowd enjoyed when he scored the match-winner against Nottingham Panthers at Sheffield Arena last Saturday was a moment he’ll treasure for a long time.
And the fact that he’d settled a match watched by 7,196 fans made it doubly satisfying.
His side are at the Arena again tomorrow against Cardiff Devils (7.30pm) - not a traditional night for hockey - and the attendance is likely to be half that.
But Dowd hopes the fans will get behind the joint league leaders once again.
“Everybody loves playing in front of big crowds and as you can see by the guys’ reactions everybody gets pumped up for it” he said.”Everybody loves it, it’s great to be a part of it.”
Dowd, who has scored three goals in his last six outings, describes Devils as “a tough, gritty team and they have some guys who can put the puck in the net” - so Steelers are going to have to be at their best to beat the fourth-placed side which twice got maximum points from champions Belfast Giants, last weekend and have beaten Coventry Blaze 8-3 and Edinburgh Capitals 10-0 recently.
“The League this year?” he said. “Everybody is beating everybody so whoever gets it (top of the table) you’ve got to try and hold on with all you can and keep stringing games together and winning games at home.”
Reflecting on his match-winning goal last Saturday against Panthers, the Great Britain international said: “We worked it well on the Power Play, Gord (Baldwin) dished out into the corner to me and they let me roll around the top of the circle so I have got to take that when I can and picked out that bottom corner. It was very satisfying!”
A win tomorrow would give Steelers a two-point lead at the top of the table.