Streatham Redskins coach Barry Spours has taken a leaf out of Olivia Newton-John’s book and told his team to get physical.
The new tactics had the desired effect on Sunday as English Ice Hockey League One South’s bottom-club pulled off a surprise 4-3 win over Invicta Dynamos at Brixton Ice Arena on Saturday.
They are now two points behind Slough Jets and seven behind Milton Keynes Thunder with five games to go – away at Bristol Pitbulls and Chelmsford Chieftains this weekend, away to Milton Keynes on March 25 and home and away to Slough on April 1 and 8.
With other sides now looking to the end of season play-offs, Spours has told his side to get in their faces and ruffle the opposition up.
“The main thing we have going for us now is that teams are looking at the play-offs and they won’t want to put their bodies on the line at the moment,” he said.
“If we play very physical and aggressive and really fight for the wins, it is only natural they won’t want to hurt their better players – so we have to play our play-off tactics now before the play-offs start.
“We have Norm Pinnington and Tomas Valko who are both quite physical and the hits Norm gives out on the ice are really hard.
“He gets under other teams skins and he won’t back down and that really helps us.
“He is under-rated as a player and has bags of experience, which makes him a really key player for us at the moment.”
Pinnington, having already served a penalty for fighting, scored the winner on Saturday after Liam Rasmussen, Dax Hedges and Jerry Pavlus had previously put them ahead three times.
“The hard work we have put in came to a head,” added Spours.
“We don’t want to get carried away but if we can play like that again this week we have a chance of picking up a win against Bristol and then we really are in good territory.
“We might even be looking toward getting this sorted out before the Slough games which is ideally what we want – I would prefer the final game was an irrelevant game at Slough.”