VIDEO: Sheffield Steelers prepare for Hitman Moran and his mates

Canadian Darrell Hay began his hockey career as a green horn at major junior side Tri-City Americans in Washington back in 1996.

It seems a long time ago. But a year previously, in the same Western Hockey League, a player called Brad Moran was one step ahead, having already made his debut for Calgary Hitmen.

A scene from Sheffield Steelers v Belfast Giants, last weekend. Pic by Dean Woolley

A scene from Sheffield Steelers v Belfast Giants, last weekend. Pic by Dean Woolley

Fast forward to 2015 - and the pair are adversaries again. Moran is leading scorer for Nottingham Panthers, at the grand age of 36, and on Saturday will line-up against Hay’s Sheffield Steelers at the Arena.

Hay, now asst coach at Steelers, is full of respect for the former Vancouver Canucks’ centreman.

Asked if there were any Panthers players on his radar, he said: “Brad Moran has had a pretty good start to the year, he’s a guy back from my junior days, an older veteran.

“But I think right now that they are playing as a complete group, we have to be on the ball with all of them. We don’t game plan for one or two players we game plan for all of them. We know how dangerous the group can be.

“(Notts’ coach) Corey Neilson is going to have them geared up, it is going to be an intense battle.”

Hay believes Arena fans have a big part to play in helping Sheffield to victory.

“The fans should keep doing what they are doing” he said. “They have been blessed with some good hockey here. Especially on home ice. The fans have been around a long time, a lot longer than I have been doing it so they know what to bring.

“And they know we are going to come out and play with the intensity and emotion we need to compete with a top quality side.”

READ MORE: Click here for all the latest news from the ice hockey scene