Matt Sisca broke his scoring duck for Fife Flyers in Sunday’s win over Nottingham Panthers – and immediately felt a weight lift off his shoulders.
Much is expected of the speedy forward after a stunning season with Manchester Storm last year, where he finished second top scorer in the EIHL with 77 points.
So after three and a half games of near misses and frustration, the 25-year-old was delighted to finally ring the red light in the 33rd minute of his fourth competitive match.
“It was definitely a huge relief,” Sisca said. “I maybe took the celebration a little over the top but a piano had basically came off my back.
“Going through the line after scoring and seeing everyone with big smiles meant a lot to me.
“It’s something I’ve been struggling with a bit this year, but it’s just the beginning of the year, and everybody gets their goal streaks.
“Mines happened on Sunday so I’m hoping I take off from now.”
Sisca admitted that living up to his reputation from last season had been playing on his mind.
“I’ve been putting a little bit too much pressure on myself to do the exact same thing,” he said. “But we have several guys that could be first, second or third in scoring this year so it’s something I don’t have to worry about.
“As long as I’m doing my job in the defensive zone, I know my chances are going to come.
“If we just keep winning that’s all the matters, and I know the goals will come.”
With his first point on the board, Sisca feels he is starting to find the right chemistry with new line mates, Justin Fox and Sebastian Thinel.
“In the exhibition games, our line had four goals in four shifts – maybe that was a big jinx on us – but hopefully we take off from here and keep rolling,” he said.
“We saw in exhibititon that we clicked really well but in the first three games we were trying to get used to each other and doing too much.
“On Sunday, we really showed what we’re capable of, we could have had 10 goals each. I have to credit my goal to Thinel and Fox – they’ve been feeding me all three games. The monkey’s been on my back and I couldn’t be happier to score for Fife.”
Sisca was delighted with the overall team performance against Panthers, which followed a flat display in a 4-2 defeat away to Belfast Giants on Saturday.
“It was a totally different game than we played on Saturday,” he said.
“In Belfast we sat back and respected our opponents way too much. On Sunday, we knew it was our home league opener, and that the crowd would be loud, so we came out with a great start, and it felt like we were all over them almost the whole game.
“We know that Nottingham roll four lines and have six ‘D’ back there, but we didn’t just keep up, we out-played them.
“After getting home so late after the ferry from Belfast and thinking we’d lay an egg – definitely not.
“We came out full force, all three lines, six defenceman, and Shane back there has been nothing but spectacular.
“We know can rely on him and that helps us out big time.”