Fife Flyers coach Todd Dutiaume insists he wanted to be top of Challenge Cup Group B at this point.
Four points from wins over Dundee Stars and Edinburgh Capitals put the Kirkcaldy top with two games to go, both against Belfast Giants.
And the Flyers boss revealed his team got an awakening after their defeat to the Stars a couple of weeks ago.
“Not to qualify for the Challenge Cup groups last season was a disappointment for us,” Dutiaume said.
“We learned a valuable lesson from our performance in Dundee a couple of weeks ago and it was crucial to come out of this weekend with all four points.
“We’ve given ourselves an opportunity to qualify for the next round and sitting top of the group, we’re in control of our own destiny.
“We still have to play Belfast which is always very dangerous and I’m looking forward to seeing how we match up, but this is the position we wanted to be in after these games.”
Flyers, now three games unbeaten, also celebrated their 79th anniversary since their formation as the UK’s longest running ice hockey club.
Dutiaume is in his 20th season with Fife and is encouraged by the start to the campaign his team have made so far and they may feature in the odds on Biggestfreebets for silverware even if outsiders at present.
He added: “It’s funny. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reflecting on my own time with the club and that fact I’ve been around for a quarter of its existence.
“Fifers are always proud of their hockey team and the early indications are they’ve got a team that’s reflective of the town and the boys are playing well right now.
“One or two just need to get healthy so we can have a full complement of players and I’m excited to see where this group goes.
“As a group, we still have a lot of learn and I’m seeing a ton of positives. In this league, it’s important not to be reliant on a guy or two.
“From what we’ve seen it looks as if our scoring has the potential to be well spread this year, which is exciting for us.”