Shudra: It’s a big run-in for Steelers

Sheffield Steelers forward Cole Shudra says his team have to win all their games to keep their hopes up of winning the Elite League title.

Paul Thompson’s men returned to domestic action last week and face two tough tests when they head to Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday before a big clash at home with Belfast Giants on Sunday.

And Shudra reckons picking up those wins helped heal the wounds of their recent Continental Cup trip to Minsk.

“Winning two games at the weekend helped in getting over what happened in Minsk,” he said. “Obviously, we didn’t do what we set out to achieve, but getting the points was good to come home to.

“Looking ahead, MK are not someone to take lightly, despite what’s happened to them recently.  When we came back from our first Continental Cup group, they beat us so that was big points to drop.

“We’ll obviously be looking to get those back on Saturday and it’s a big run-in for us and we have to win all our games from now on in.

“Then we have the game with Belfast and the intense rivalry there is between the teams seems to have been triggered by the stuff with Fretter and Goulakos.

“When we played away in the double header a couple of weeks ago, they were two rough games and I think it’s going to be another one on Sunday.”

Shudra has been high on a wave of confidence after scoring his first goals in professional ice hockey with a hat-trick over Edinburgh Capitals in a 7-1 away win on Sunday.

Reflecting on it days later, he admits he’s more aware of the significance of it and says these goals have helped his confidence as he looks to do more of the same.

He added: “Looking back, it was crazy and my phone didn’t stop buzzing all night.  A couple of days later, I’ve only just begun to realise how big it was, with Twitter blowing up and it felt really good.

“When I got the first goal, I didn’t know it was mine at first.  I didn’t know whether to celebrate or not and when it was confirmed it was mine, it was a great feeling.

“Going on to get the hat-trick was something.  Getting the first two were special, but I didn’t know how to feel when the third one went in.

“Getting these goals has now given me the confidence to go and produce.  I feel much more part of it now.”

Photo: Dean Woolley

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