BEN O’CONNOR believes Sheffield Steelers discovered their groove again at the weekend, but acknowledges they cannot afford to slip off the rails again if they are to make history by clinching a third straight Elite League title.
After the previous weekend’s double defeat at home to title rivals Belfast Giants, the Steelers were in need of timely, positive response and duly got it when they followed up Saturday’s 5-4 win at home to Dundee Stars with an 8-2 triumph on the road at Coventry Blaze.
Tonight sees them play host to Fife Flyers, who arrive at Ice Sheffield buoyed by a stunning comeback on Sunday against Nottingham Panthers which saw them overhaul a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3 in overtime in Kirkcaldy.
Two previous meetings between the two sides have gone the way of the Steelers, but O’Connor is well aware of the threat posed by Todd Dutiaume’s skilful side.
“It was vital that we came up with some big performances at the weekend and get back to the way we know we can play,” said the 28-year-old defenceman.
“It felt like we had some of that groove back again, particularly on Sunday at Coventry. We scored plenty of goals but we also put in a good defensive performance too.”
A win tonight would see Steelers close the gap on leaders Cardiff Devils to six points.
“We know we can’t afford any more slip-ups,” added O’Connor.