SHEFFIELD STEELERS head into their 100th game against arch-rivals Nottingham Panthers tonight looking to exact swift revenge.
Although the Challenge Cup Group B encounters between the two teams produced a win apiece, the Steelers were humbled 7-2 at the National Ice Centre in the first Elite League meeting early last month.
A 3-1 win against Coventry Blaze for Nottingham last Sunday – 24 hours after Steelers had lost 6-2 on the road against the West Midlands club – moved Corey Neilson’s team top of the regular season standings for the first time this season.
The Steelers – who travel to Fife Flyers tomorrow – are one point behind the Panthers in third place, but enjoy bragging rights in the fixture – the 99 games played so far producing 66 wins for the club, with 28 losses and five draws.
Hull Stingrays – buoyed by the midweek signing of forward Jordan Knox – host Coventry tonight before heading to Scotland tomorrow to take on Gardiner Conference rivals Braehead Clan.
If results go their way and they win in Glasgow, Stingrays could end the weekend top of the conference for the first time this season.
“I think we match up well with Coventry, we’ve had two good battles with them,” said Hull player-coach Omar Pacha,
“But they have had a change of coach so they will be up for the game but we know we can move right behind them with a win.
“It is our first time up in Braehead and we have a chance of topping the conference by the end of the weekend.
“It is going to be another big test for us, but every weekend is a battle. Braehead are a good side at home and they play well there but we have beaten them before.”
Stingrays will be without forward Sam Towner, who is on Great Britain Under-20 duty in Estonia, while new Canadian forward Jordan Knox does not arrive until next weekend.
Teenage British defenceman Tom Stubley, however, who has come through the junior system at Hull Arena, will dress against Coventry.