Two defeats, a ‘goal’ that was not given and a drop in the Elite League standings could all have added up for a pretty miserable weekend for Sheffield Steelers.
But head coach Paul Thompson is confident his players will bounce back in positive fashion and will make sure there is no evidence of self-pity when they face-off against second-bottom Dundee Stars at Ice Sheffield on Wednesday night (7.30pm).
One of the reasons Thompson remains in buoyant mood is the return to the Steelers’ line-up of Canadian defenceman Jace Coyle, back in South Yorkshire after a brief return to North America with the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards.
Against an out-of-sorts Dundee team who have lost their last three games, Steelers should expect to return to second in the overall standings above Belfast Giants after tonight – in turn closing the gap on leaders Cardiff Devils to 10 points with four games still in hand.
“We’re bringing Jace back because I think he was one of the best defencemen in the league last year,” said Thompson. “It is a good time to bring in somebody who knows the club and who was a big reason behind our success last year. I’ve known him for a long time and he will improve us further as a team.
“But I’m not unhappy with anyone in our group at the moment, we’ve got a marvellous group.”
Frustration may have marred Steelers’ trip to South Wales on Sunday after a puck that seemingly crossed the line was not judged a goal in a match they went on to lose on a shoot-out, but Thompson is more concerned his team finds a way to beat Cardiff, who have won all four league encounters between the two this season.
“The Devils have got a number over us right now but we’ve got to put that right,” said Thompson, with a return trip to South Wales looming this Saturday.