When the end-of-season awards are dished out to Sheffield Steelers players, expect to see Andreas Valdix and Colton Fretter among the gongs.
Fretter has defied a lot of people’s expectations - except his own coach - by the way he has recovered from last year’s career-threatening injury and held down a first-line role.
Valdix has followed in the footsteps of fellow Swede Fredrik Vestberg by marking himself out as a reliable, creative and forceful centreman.
Both these players scored in Steelers’ 2-1 first-leg Challenge Cup win at Nottingham Panthers on January 25 - and their input will be critical tonight when the pair go again in the second round of the semi-final.
When injury robbed the team of Valdix, Rob Dowd and Lev Nelson were sometimes off-colour. When he’s back, the Steelers win games.
Fretter displaced Jesse Schultz from the top line and has stayed there since.
A Steelers spokesman said: “Both these forwards are a credit to the club and we will need them to overcome Nottingham, who will have a rested goaltender and will do everything to dismantle the one-goal lead we have.
“Our goalie, Moose (Ervins Mustukovs) chalked up his first shutout on Sunday - he could have had two or three this season - and he will be critical to us trying to win this trophy.”
Zack Fitzgeraldi s likely to return after recovering from injury.