The Steelers sit two points ahead of Cardiff Devils going into tonight’s trip to Manchester Storm, who on home ice will fancy their chances of avenging their 7-0 Boxing Day hammering at the FlyDSA Arena.
Aaron Fox’s team have won five straight games in the league and six out of the last seven in all competitions, although Cardiff and Belfast – seemingly their main rivals for the regular season title – both have games in hand.
DeLuca played a pivotal role in the Steelers’ latest impressive performance in front of an 8,000-plus crowd in South Yorkshire, posting seven points as he had a hand in all seven goals, of which he scored four.
But while confidence is understandably high in the Steelers’ locker room, DeLuca warned the current leaders against taking their eye off the ball, with a New Year double-header against Nottingham Panthers to follow tonight’s trip to Altrincham.
“It feels like we are on a good run at the right time, but we’ve just got to continue,” said DeLuca, who has amassed 36 points, including 19 goals, in 38 appearances so far this season.
“We have a lot of big games coming up that we need to win. What’s done is done, we can’t be looking in the past – we’ve got to look forwards and try to make sure we can keep that run going.”
Tonight marks the Steelers’ fifth visit of the season to the Storm, where they are yet to win having lost twice in the Challenge Cup and once in the league there. They battled for a 3-3 draw in the second leg of the same Cup’s quarter-final clash between the two last week, which saw them through 8-5 on aggregate to a semi-final clash against Glasgow Clan next month.