Daunting four-game run lies ahead
Phantoms coach Slava Koulikov has told his players to believe they can cause shocks during two daunting weekends of English Premier League action.
The city side face reigning champions Basingstoke and 2016/17 title favourites Milton Keynesin each of the next two weekends.
The daunting four-game run begins with a visit to MK on Saturday (7pm) ahead of a home clash against Bison (5.30pm). The fixtures are then reversed the following weekend.
And Koulikov wants his men to hit the ice on a high following their 6-1 slaughter of Swindon last Sunday.
Hesaid:“Weoutplayedand outworked Swindon for 60 minutes last Sunday, and that is the standard of performance we need to produce on a regular basis.
“If we do that, we’ll have a chance of getting results againstanyteamintheleague.
“We have to respect the quality of the players that MK and Basingstoke have, but we also have to ensure our guys believe they are capable of beating them.
“MK started the season very well with two wins last weekend while Basingstoke lost both of their games, but I can guarantee we are in for two big battles in each of the next two weekends.” A lacklustre Phantoms side werebeatenbyapairofpowerplay goals in the second period on the opening night of the new English Premier League season.
Phantoms had earlier been handed the perfect start whenteenagedefenceman Tom Stubley struck with a shot through traffic on his competitive debut.
Plenty of trademark heroics from netminder Janis Auzins ensured they preserved their narrowleaduntil thefirstbreak, butevenhe waspowerlesstopreventthe Steeldogs from making the most of a couple of numerical advantages.
Andrew Hirst was the player to fire past him from close range on both occasions as Sheffield levelled early in the session andthen completed the turnaround on the the buzzer.
Only the pipes denied Phantoms a second goal of their own in that period as Marc Levers struck a post during a powerplay, while captain James Ferrara tipped a good chance just wide during the same spell of five-on-four.
But Phantoms rarely looked like clawing themselves l evel i n the f i nal period when only two outstanding Auzins saves to denySteeldogs importPavel Mrnapreventedtheirdeficit from increasing.