Kyle Haines has told Fife Flyers fans that they can have a direct impact on the team’s performances - good or bad.
The defenceman is in his third season at the Kirkcaldy club and has experienced both sides of the passionate Flyers support.
There have been nights when Fife Ice Arena has rocked to its foundations with the volume of support, while there have also been times, such as during the recent six-game losing streak, when the team has been given the silent treatment, or worse.
While the mood of the fans is certainly shaped by the team on the ice, Haines believes it can also work the other way, with the crowd directly influencing the performance of the players.
Haines told the Press: “You go through spells when the fans are all over you, then you win a few games and they are back on your side.
“They’re fickle that way. It’s been like that all three years here and you’ve just got to tune them out.
“It helps so much more when they are on your side, I don’t think they realise.
“When it’s positive, and they are loud, it helps a tonne, as opposed to getting criticised, which just troubles the team more.
“When they’re making noise on our side it’s huge, for sure.”
Haines was keen to point out, however, that he understands the fans frustrations.
“Sports fans want the best, and want to see the team perform,” he said. “I don’t blame them. I’d be the same way.
“I’m glad we just battled through and got out that slump.
“We realised our potential at the weekend, now we just need to keep moving forward and getting better each day.”
Haines said he felt a cloud lift from the dressing room following the weekend wins over Manchester and Braehead.
“It definitely feels good,” he said. “It was a great team effort, everyone bought in and were doing the little things.
“The guys mood definitely picks up after two wins - confidence builds.
“But we can’t stop at that. We need to keep improving and getting better.”
Flyers earned their first shut-out since the opening night of the season in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Braehead and Haines admitted the team put extra emphasis on defence.
“It was definitely a defence-first game,” he said. “It was a 1-0 game really with the empty net goal.
“We’ve been getting in bad spots, pinching at the wrong times, so we thought we’d play defence-first and go from there.
“You could see it was a lot more sound in the D-zone which was good.
“I’m proud of the guys - they played well and played for each other.”
The four-point weekend came after a period of soul-searching following a six-game losing run.
“We definitely bared down in training and recognised our weaknesses and things we needed to improve on,” Haines added.
“We practiced hard on those all week and it showed at the weekend.
“In Manchester we bent a little but we didn’t break - we learned from the game in Edinburgh and found a way to win.
“Sunday was just an overall great team performance.”