The Sheffield Steelers return to action this weekend buoyant after a comprehensive 7-0 victory over the Dundee Stars in the second leg of the challenge cup quarter final.
The result gave the Steelers an 11-4 victory on aggregate.
Their focus now turns to tonights game in Glasgow as they take on the Braehead Clan. With the Steelers title hopes withering and needing Belfast and Nottingham to slip up in the last few months of the season, nothing short of a victory will do.
Steelers forward Simon Ferguson is sure to be instrumental in any success the Steelers have, and the mid-season signing has scored and impressive seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 16 games.
Steelers Head Coach Ryan Finnerty had this to say on Ferguson after Wednesdays challenge cup game:
“I’ve been delighted with Simon since he arrived. It was tough for him, he had a long wait with his visa application and by the time he arrived he hadn’t been on the ice for a while. I think we have all seen him get better and better and become a really important player for us.
“I can use him in all situations, he contributes and scores. He is a reason we will have more success this season.”
The Steelers return to the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, on Sunday as they look to put a dent in arch-rivals Nottingham Panthers title bid.
The Panthers haven’t won the league title since 1956 and the Steelers will hope to keep it that way.
With the Panthers in the driving seat four points clear of second place Belfast and seven clear of Sheffield this is a must win game for the Steelers.
Coach Finnerty is known for his systematic build up play, and he will certainly want his players to stick to the game plan and play the kind of intimidating hockey that rattled the Panthers in the Steelers romping 9-4 victory over them earlier in the season.
Panthers tend to play a smooth passing and quick play, looking to hit teams on the break and exploit any space that is given to them.
They possess players like David Ling who can create a goal from nothing, so the Steelers will need to make sure the opposition is closed down effectively.