Telford Tigers captain Jason Silverthorn says just being able to play was one of the best things from last weekend.
The Tigers roared back into action with home and away victories over Raiders to open their Spring Cup campaign with two wins from two.
But after 11 months out because of the coronavirus, Silverthorn simply enjoyed the feel of the ice under his skates again.
“The most pleasing from the weekend, apart from the wins themselves, is just getting back on the ice and playing alongside people you’ve not seen for nearly a year,” he said.
“Just playing hockey was great and being in a different environment to what I’ve been in since last March, we’re happy to be back.
“The legs were okay after the weekend. It’s a lot different than running or biking that we’ve been doing for the last year, but it’s been a much longer off season.
“They weren’t easy games, against a young, fast Raiders side, so it proved to be a great weekend for us.
“It’s a lot different than any season past, with no pre-season or exhibition to help get you ready for it so it was a good test for the team.”
Tigers were buoyed by the fact that six of their eight goals from the victories all came from new players who have joined the side for the competition.
Elite League participants Cole Shudra, Sam Jones, Kieran Brown, Robert Lachowicz, Ross Venus and David Clements all netted to help Tom Watkins’ side to their four-point haul.
Silverthorn insists they’ve all settled into the Tigers team really quickly as focus now turns to this weekend’s games with Bees and the chance to build on their excellent start.
“Everybody knows a guy, who knows a guy so it was relatively easy for the new players to come into the room,” he added. “The two weeks we had in training before playing, we seemed to get to know them on and off the ice.
“They stepped right in straight away and Tom (Watkins) has done a great job sprinkling them into the side and spread the line-up over four lines, so guys are getting lots of ice time. It’s good everyone is contributing so early on.
“You need to make sure, with every period, you get better so you can continue towards your goal of winning the cup. We’re working this week and hope to build on what we did at the weekend.
“Now we’re into it, we want to be rolling forward.”