Sheffield Steelers netminder John Muse paid tribute to fellow goalies Ben Churchfield and Curtis Warburton for the job they did in his absence.
The 32-year-old returned to action in Tuesday’s Elite Series Semi Final first leg win against Manchester Storm after only playing 34 minutes of the opening game over three weeks ago.
And while he admits it’s been tough to miss out on playing himself, seeing his younger colleagues go out and help the team to the top of the standings has been rewarding in its own way.
“Curtis and Ben have given the team a chance to win every night and I think that’s the biggest thing for any goalie,” he said.
🍊 Goalie John Muse out on the ice ahead of tonight's game – the boys are out for warm up
— Sheffield Steelers | #2021EliteSeries (@steelershockey) April 27, 2021
“I’ve tried to help them with things here and there, whether it be stuff through video. It’s always good to get a couple of different looks at things certainly.
“I’ve been able to help them by seeing things they don’t necessarily just because I’ve been around the game a little bit longer.
“I think they’ve done a great job (in my absence), they’re fun to work with and they come in and work hard, which is half the battle.
“It’s been frustrating not to play myself, but it’s been fun to see them get the minutes and see the enjoyment they get out of playing and it makes it worthwhile for me to be around to help them out.
“I know I was where they are at one point and I knew how much it meant for me, so, heading into the back end of my career, it’s been good to see that.”
Tuesday’s 5-4 win over Storm gives them a slight advantage before they meet again on Thursday, where the winner over the two games will progress to the best of three final series
Muse reckons a good start to the second leg is important and has served them well thus far, but warned that Ryan Finnerty’s men won’t make it easy for them.
“Every game we try to get off to a good start and I think it’s been part of our success in this tournament,” he added.
“Manchester are a good team and we saw that again on Tuesday. There’s no quit in them so it’ll be a tough battle on Thursday.”