Sheffield Steeldogs forward Ben Lake admits he’d rather be playing this weekend but believes a rest can give them a massive boost.
Greg Wood’s men began the Spring Cup with two victories over Swindon Wildcats last weekend to set the tone for their own campaign.
The scheduling of the fixtures though has meant they will be idle this week while the other four sides fulfil games and Lake is looking at the positive of some down time.
“It’s a little strange to have the weekend off after just starting back, but it’s probably a good thing after none of us have played much in the last couple of months,” he said.
“Going in and playing two games, then a week off to rest and reflect before you get mentally ready for five straight weeks is the best thing and gives us a chance to reset and wrap our heads around what’s to come.
The #NIHLSpringCup means we are back on our #NIHLTravels.
We look forward to our friends at @BeesIceHockey and @Raiders_IHC joining next weekend – and @SwinWildcats and @Telford_Tigers are welcome to join the club #bustales #ontheroadagain
— Sheffield Steeldogs (@SteeldogsIHC) February 13, 2021
“We all want to be playing, but it’ll be beneficial for our heads and our bodies to have this rest.
“I don’t know if I’ll be watching the games coming up and checking out our opponents. When I’m away from the rink, I like to be away so I’ll probably spend some time with my girlfriend.
A 5-4 win was followed with a 4-2 success over the Wildcats, with Liam Kirk taking centre stage as he scored five goals in the two games and picking up six points in total.
Lake enjoyed seeing first hand how much the NHL draft prospect has developed as he reflected on the double win weekend, but admits it wasn’t as pleasing a victory as he would have liked.
“I played with Liam in the World Championships and I think everyone could see just big a step he’s taken,” Lake added. “The effortlessness of his skating ability stands out and that side of his game is miles ahead of everyone else.
“It’s pretty clear to say how successful he’s going to be and it was good to get a front row seat and see that at close quarters. The world is his oyster.
“The mood was pretty positive after getting the wins against Swindon last week, as you would imagine. We were back in training and with no games this weekend, we were having a little bit of fun.
“That being said, I think we could have had better performances in the two games. The first night, we weren’t too happy with our effort level, but on Sunday, we came out hot, but tapered off and let them back in.
“We weren’t too happy how that panned out for us so I think the focus is more about killing teams off if we’re in a winning position.
“We want to build off what we did and forge ahead in the rest of the competition.”