Video: Adversity has strengthened team bonding at Sheffield Steelers
It was only a few matches ago that boos were ringing around the rafters and there were calls for heads to roll at Steelers.
But that negativity served only to galvanise team-spirit in the Sheffield locker room.
Since their last defeat, Steelers have recorded a 9-0 aggregate score over Nottingham Panthers, won four times, had three shut outs and conceded just one goal in four hours. They are two points off second place.
Defenceman Mark Matheson revealed that earlier misfortunes had brought the group closer together.
“We are trying to work on our identity here and everybody is starting to believe in it” he said.
The player does not know why it has taken a while to gel but said: “We stuck together, as much as you hear some negativity outside of the club we stuck together, we believed, and sometimes that can be a good thing for a team. Overcome all adversity.”
On a personal level, he said: “I just try and take it game by game, just keep turning the page and keep working towards getting a little run going here.”
Steelers face Manchester Storm home and away this coming weekend – a team on the same points but with two games in hand.
“They are a good team, they are up in the standings, they play a hard game, you have got to make quick plays against them and play disciplined as well.
“We are starting to realise that if we play our game, we can make it just as difficult for other teams.”
Manchester’s rink represented an adjustment to make, he said, with its smaller size.
He added that “things happen quicker there, they are a big fast team they are built for that and we just have to stick to our game plan.”
Matheson said he was enjoying his time at the club and tried not to think about the next season and where he’ll play.
“Obviously I love it here – but I can’t commit to anything right now.”