Sheffield Steelers are determined to finish off the festive job and get maximum points at Nottingham Panthers tomorrow.
On Boxing Day night they comfortably saw off their closest rivals in a 4-0 mauling.
The win was based on three power play goals (Levi Nelson, Mark Matheson and Mathieu Roy) plus another from John Armstrong...and a clinically efficient penalty kill.
Nottingham were limp offensively and looked like a team that had just lost seven straight games.
The Panther, though, will be a wounded animal in tomorrow’s return League fixture - a point not lost on the Steelers’ high command.
Coach Paul Thompson, though, said his team had played as well in earlier season games but: “For the first time in the past four or five weeks that was the best collective performance.”
They had given the fans “a great Boxing Day present.”
He added that a win against local rivals in front of 9,300 fans meant more than other routine fixtures.
Plus it gave them two Conference points “which we haven’t had many of” - a reference to the single win in the
previous 10 Erhardt division matches.
“Our PK was outstanding, Moose (Ervins Mustukovs) was outstanding and I think we were around 50 per cent on the Power Play so that tells you the importance of special teams” said the coach.
“I really thought we energised the crowd we got the crowd behind us. And we got timely goals in the second period.”
“I thought (Andreas) Jamtin was outstanding. He is always doing the right thing. (Tim) Wallace was really good.”
Wingers Nelson and Robert Dowd were also bringing “mayhem” to the opposition zone, he said.
Steelers had an aggressive edge in the second period, with players like Davey and Jonathan Phillips piling the hits
“We’d just asked them to pay with passion and emotion.
“Use the crowd, use the energy that comes from the stands on a night like this” he said.
“In the last couple of years they haven’t been great games, but I thought we deserved to win and played a great
As for the trip to Nottingham: “We have had three good home wins on the bounce and only given up one goal - we want to take that mindset into Nottingham tomorrow.
“Games like these two are the best atmospheres in the League. “We have to go there and we want to be hungry - we want the points.”
A merry Christmas? It was a blinding Boxing Day for Steelers’ fans.