Leeds Knights using cup final hurt to drive them on in showdown with Peterborough Phantoms
The Knights head to Peterborough tonight for the first leg of an eagerly-anticipated encounter which concludes at Elland Road Ice Arena next Friday.
"In these situations, you have a little chip on your shoulder and you want to do what you couldn’t do the previous time,” said Shudra.
"Having that experience of losing and knowing how it felt when we lost against Swindon is going to help us massively for this game.”
The Knights will be keen to ensure that when they do play host in the return leg next week, they do so on the back of a strong performance in Cambridgeshire.
Their last visit there just under two weeks ago saw them produce a stunning 9-3 victory, ensuring they edged the six-game head-to-head league series between the two teams with four wins.
But Shudra and his team-mates are not expecting to pull off a repeat show.
“We probably made a bit of a statement that night but they’ll be looking to make one this Friday,” said Shudra. “They will remember that result and they will want to get us back.
“It won’t be an easy game, it never is against Peterborough. We’re going to have to go there and play smart, be smart defensively and hopefully we can come back – with some sort of lead would be great – but just come back making sure that we’re still very much in the game.”
Understandably in the week that brings a cup final, Shudra admitted there was a buzz about the Knights camp ahead of what he hopes will be the first of two special nights.
“Any time you’re going into a final or a game where there is a trophy up for grabs you get that extra bit of motivation, that extra adrenaline rush,” he added. “And I know that when it comes to Friday night this group will all be ready for it.”
The two-legged final comes in the middle of a hectic schedule for the Knights, who remain favourites to lift the regular season crown.
They return to league action on Saturday night at home against Swindon before visiting Telford Tigers on Sunday. It’s the second phase of a run of nine games in 17 days but Shudra believes the team are well-prepared to deal with what is ahead of them.
“I think it helps us having a fairly young group to get through these tough spells, but every team has to do it at some point during the season,” he said.
“Ours is coming towards the end of the year which possibly isn’t the best time but I feel like we’ve managed it pretty well, with players’ ice time and certain guys playing more minutes or less minutes on certain nights. It’s just about getting through it.”