VIDEO Sheffield Steelers’ game with Nottingham Panthers will be an epic duel, says coach

Paul Thompson expects that Sheffield Arena fans will witness a proper edge-of-the-seat game on Saturday.

He believes an offensive-minded Steelers v Nottingham Panthers will offer more than last Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Braehead Clan.

Sheffield have beaten Notts twice in the Challenge Cup, the most recent victory coming last Saturday, before the game against the Scots. “I am expecting a barnstormer, a different style of game, (to the Clan encounter) where teams come in and trap really high and don’t really force or forecheck, where as Nottingham are coming back and forth.

“So the games are far more entertaining from that point of view. It will be an end to end battle without a doubt.”

Thompson regards the visitors as “a good team, they play with a lot of speed, they came at us really hard. They have got a good club. “They are very deep, fully healthy, and done a marvellous job in the Champions League.

“But we have beaten them twice, this is the first League game and we know what that means.”

Ervins Mustukovs at Nottingham, recently.

Ervins Mustukovs at Nottingham, recently.

Thompson is thrilled with the form of goaltender Ervins Mustukovs, who has excelled recently and has a 91.7 save percentage ratio having played more than 700 minutes.

That is more minutes than anybody in the League barring Manchester Storm’s Mike Clemente.

“When you are going through that little patch where you need the goaltender to really backstop you, he really did that, especially in Nottingham.”

Sheffield won there despite being outshot two-to-one.

Thompson said he’d be happy for that to happen again as long he harvests two points. Steelers currently have eight points from nine League games and occupy second place behind Manchester Storm.

Nottingham have one less point but have played two fewer games, so an away win would see them overtake Sheffield.

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