Morgan: We could be six periods from glory

(PHOTO: Pete Best)

Sheffield Steeldogs player-coach Ben Morgan insists playing at home first is no issue as he prepares his team for their NIHL Autumn Cup final.

The North 1 leaders host Peterborough Phantoms at Ice Sheffield in the first leg on Wednesday, with both sides looking to take an advantage into the second leg a week on Friday.

And Morgan says the mood in his camp is positive after taking victories over Solway Sharks and Billingham Stars at the weekend that saw them reach the quarter finals of the NIHL North Cup.

“I’m not fussed about having the home game first,” he said.  We would need to play at home anyway, but if you had a choice in where to lift the trophy, I would always want to lift it in our rink.

“It makes no difference. We just know we have to put the performance in to give ourselves a chance of going into that second leg.

“The mood is good at the moment and we’ve had to take our games one at a time.  We’ve had some cup games to contend with so it was good to get the win on Saturday to take us into the next stage of the NIHL North Cup.

“We had a good, professional road performance at Billingham on Sunday, winning 5-0 and it’s one that sets us up nicely for the game with Peterborough.

“All the boys are very excited by it and it’s the chance to get the first silverware of the season. We’re looking at it as being possibly six periods away from getting our hands on a trophy so it’s going to be really good.”

With the Phantoms standing in their way, it makes for a fascinating contest after both teams beat each other away from home when they met in the group stage earlier this season.

Morgan says his team didn’t learn anything new about the Phantoms from previous meetings, but is expecting a closely fought contest against Slava Koulikov’s side.

He added: “We played them earlier in the season in the group stage and we didn’t really learn anything new to take into these games.

“They’re a typical Slava team in that they’re well drilled and they stick to their systems.  They play a slightly different road game and we’ll do that from our point of view when we take the game back to their rink.

“We expect a tight affair and a close game and hope we can take some kind of advantage back to their place when we play again a week on Friday.

“We know what to expect on Wednesday and again a week on Friday and we’re taking it one game at a time, but we know this game will be the biggest of the season so far.”

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