Telford Tigers will be looking to make an early impression on Peterborough Phantoms in their crunch play-off encounter tomorrow night.
Defeat to Guildford on Wednesday has placed extra emphasis on a strong performance against the Phantoms, who are yet to win in Telford this season.
That midweek loss saw the Flames take a first period lead – while restricting the Tigers to few quality scoring chances – before adding two more goals later on.
Tigers coach Tom Watkins has called for his men to reverse that trend against a notoriously tough Phantoms outfit.
He said: “A good start is so important and you always want to play with a lead. You want to come out of the blocks and get ahead. We didn’t do that on Wednesday night.
“In the play-offs you’ve got to play with intensity and if a defenceman keeps getting finished on physcially, he will feel like he’s got less time to make things happen.
“We’ve got to be on our toes in that respect. It was disappointing that we didn’t impose ourselves early enough, especially at home.
“If we play with a heavy forecheck, we get our fans involved with a bit more noise and atmosphere.
“We’ve got to change our mindset a little bit and for Saturday’s game, that is one way we’ve got to start.”
League honours are even between the two sides this season, with the Phantoms having completed a clean sweep against the Tigers at their Bretton Road base.
Watkins added: “Peterborough are a very good team. They’re well coached and have good netminding, so we have got to be prepared for anything.
“Every team will have tricks up their sleeve in these games, but I think it is all about intensity, hunger and desire to win.
“Having those qualities typifies any play-off winning team.”
The Tigers also travel to face Sheffield on Sunday night, as part of a punishing five-game schedule over the next ten days.
Tomorrow night’s game against Peterborough Phantoms, at Telford Ice Rink, starts at 5.30pm. For tickets, go to www.tigershockeyuk.com.