Eight Sheffield Steelers players will be introduced to their first ‘derby’ match against Nottingham Panthers tonight - but they will all be ready and up for the challenge.
Matches between the rivals frequently make up the most exciting encounters in any season...and are spiced by a healthy dislike of each other.
Sheffield have six skaters and two goalies who are new to all that Steelers v Panthers entails. But Sheffield forward Mathieu Roy says they will be ready for the challenge.
Steelers have won their last seven matches and hope to continue that run tonight, and at Cardiff Devils on Sunday. Roy, who scored twice against Belfast Giants last Saturday, said: “”That is what the team is looking for, to win the games and we are doing well right now. We have another big weekend coming up so we need to keep that going.
“They (new team-mates) already know (about the rivalery with Panthers). The minute they sign here it is the first thing people tell them - wait for those games against Nottingham.
“So I think they are ready and the team is ready” said Roy.
“It is in our head that we need to beat them. They have a big rivalry with us so I know we are going to show up for 60 (minutes.)
The winger said he was enjoying playing alongside linemates Fredrick Vestberg and Colton Fretter.
“We are doing well, that is the good thing about this team this year, we have got four lines that can play and can score some goals. And that is what we hvae seen since the beginning.”
Sheffield will hope to improve their Power Play performances this weekend.
They are curerntly the have the third worst scoring record (10 per cent) in the EIHL, according to official stats.