Robert Malloy believes the Newcastle Northstars go into Saturday night’s top-of-the-table clash against the Brave in Canberra with a one-track mind.
Not only can the second-placed visitors try and close some of the nine-point gap held by the leaders, but for the first time in a month the Northstars only have the single game to contend with.
Newcastle have played three consecutive double headers since June 23, recording four wins and two losses from those six appearances, and captain Malloy has welcomed the change of schedule.
“It’s a big weekend for us and the best thing is, we’ve only got to focus on one game rather than two,” Malloy told the Newcastle Herald.
Fresh from being named Australian Ice Hockey League player of the round for his combined three assists and two goals last weekend, Malloy takes form into Newcastle’s 19th game of the season.
The Northstars leader deflected the unexpected accolade towards teammates Sammy Banga, Nick Rivait and Joseph Harcharik.
“I’ve got to give it up to those guys,” Malloy said.
“I’ve been playing in the same line as Sammy and Joey and there’s been some good chemistry there.”
Malloy has missed both previous encounters with the Brave this season while away representing Australia at the second division World Championships in The Netherlands.
The Northstars lost twice, 8-3 in Canberra on May 5 and 4-2 in Newcastle on April 28.
Newcastle return home to host the fifth-placed Sydney Bears on Sunday week.