Welcome to the Hangar for tonight’s match up with the Sheffield Steeldogs and what a game it promises to be. Andre was generous enough last time we played here to give me his time for a Jets TV interview and as we said then the closeness in the league is unbelievable. Anybody from 5 down still has to watch all the other results with regards to them securing a top 8 finish and a play off spot so this will be good.
Sheffield left here with the points last time we played them but just a week later we reversed the result and returned with the points so tonight’s result is definitely anyone’s for the taking.
At Bracknell we lost Mindy Kieras, assessed a match penalty which carries a mandatory one game suspension. EIHA rules mean that when an import is suspended no matter how many you have signed you can only play 3 for the duration of the suspension. (If 2 are suspended then you can only play 2 etc). This meant that we played last Saturday against the Bees on home ice we were missing Mindy and also couldn’t ice Andrej. It made a big difference to the team as Mindy is the captain, leads the defence and his quick outlet passes often start many of the Jets goal scoring plays. Those are the rules and we have to play by them as agreed but what a difference a single decision can make.
What make the effect even bigger is that it was against the Bees who we could have climbed above to increase our chances of a play-off spot. We are no means out of the race yet but the Mindy effect for a game and a half allowed them to sneak two wins over us! In truth, they’re not great, I don’t think they deserved the four points but despite the results I still think we are on the better side. We have continually over achieved this season, win or lose I’d rather be part of a team that over achieves than a team that consistently, in my opinion, under achieves for the resources available to it.
What happened here is no secret. Players didn’t want to up and leave their current clubs in the middle of the season but I’m sure by next season we will have been able to recruit and things will go back to normal. Games against Bracknell will result in Jets wins and we won’t be fighting for our play-off spot in February. In the mean time let’s keep right behind our team, cheer them on through the remaining fixtures and into a play-off berth. If we secure that then we know that we can compete with any team. With a full quota of imports and the right amount of luck we could still be the dark horse for the play-offs.
It was nice to see our biggest attendance of the season last weekend and it’s nice to see some new faces that are becoming regular faces. There’s plenty to get involved in tonight as well as watching the hockey so don’t forget your 50/50 tickets, shirt off his back tickets and ducks. As well as that don’t forget to share your pictures of you and your mates enjoying the game. Use Twitter and / or Instagram and tonight’s hashtag is #sjss
Enjoy the game and a safe trip home to Andre, his Steeldogs and all their supporters.
My team, your team, OUR TEAM.