Sheffield Steelers may be struggling at the bottom of the Elite League, but Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume is expecting a difficult midweek away fixture.
Flyers travel down to Ice Sheffield for a 7.30 p.m face-off tonight on the back of a six-game winning sequence that has taken them up to second place in the EIHL standings.
In contrast, Steelers have lost their last four league games and currently prop up the EIHL table with just six points from their opening 10 fixtures – an unfamiliar position for a club that has won more league titles than any other.
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The match will see new Steelers head coach Tom Barrasso make his home debut, with the NHL veteran and former Stanley Cup winner having recently replaced Paul Thompson, who quit following a poor start to the season.
Dutiaume stressed that despite their lowly league position, Sheffield remain a dangerous opponent who must be respected.
“It’s a slippery one because they’ve haven’t performed well and are in unfamiliar territory,” he said.
“They have a new coach in and that always takes a period of adjustment.
“They’re backed into a corner right now, but a team like that with a proud history is always going to come out swinging, and we’ll certainly prepare the guys for that.
“It’s going to be a good challenge.”
Despite facing over 50 shots, Flyers squeaked out a 6-5 win in Guildford on Sunday to make it 13 points from a possible 14 thus far.
The only point dropped came in the previous trip to Sheffield last month, when Fife went down to a 4-3 overtime defeat.
“The guys are in decent place right now,” Dutiaume added. “They’re confident in our goaltender, confident in our offence, and our D are playing well.”