ALREADY 3-0 ahead, Sheffield Steelers not surprisingly head into tonight’s second leg of their Challenge Cup quarter-final with Dundee Stars as clear favourites.
But Gerad Adams’s team will come up against a Stars outfit buoyed by a rare four-point weekend in the Elite League which - while they remain bottom of the overall league standings - has given their hopes of making the end-of-season play-offs an overdue boost.
The hosts will be in a positive frame of mind themselves after a gritty 3-2 win at Coventry Blaze ended a worrying five-game losing streak in the league, a run which has left the pre-Christmas league leaders down in fourth spot and seven points adrift of the current top team Braehead Clan.
But it is all about the much-maligned cup tonight and, although the lure of a two-legged semi-final against Nottingham Panthers may not be the most welcome thing for some Steelers fans - given they have lost five out of seven meetings with their arch-rivals this season - there will certainly be no holding back at the Motorpoint Arena.
Home ice will also be a massive advantage for the Steelers against the Stars having won 14 out of 16 meetings between the two teams in Sheffield.
Defenceman Dustin Kohn remains out, while leading points scorer Mathieu Roy is thought to be fine having come through his return to action at the weekend unscathed following an upper-body injury