Fife Flyer’s Chase Schaber is back to his best
Chase Schaber says a “huge weight” was lifted after he hit the net at the weekend.
The Canadian forward netted twice in the 4-1 win over Dundee Stars – the first time had scored since December 7 in a 5-1 away win against the same opponents.
The 29-year-old said he had found himself frustrated and stuck in a “rut”.
“It wasn’t like I wasn’t getting chances,” he says, “but I just wasn’t producing and putting pucks in the net.
“Maybe I was gripping my stick too tight, wasn’t doing the right things or focusing on little details.
“But I’m building up every week, practising things and getting back to basics pretty much. So I was able to contribute two goals to the team for the win and it felt good.
“The first one felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. After that I kept rolling and was lucky to get the third goal for the team which really sealed the win.”
Schaber said he is finally back to his best after missing a chunk of the season with a leg injury.
“I feel good, I feel back to normal again.
“I was a little unhappy when I was out for four to six weeks or whatever it was.
“I lost some conditioning and some muscle mass and definitely lost some of my touch and timing on the ice.
“I think that’s the worst part about being injured. The injury itself is not the worst, it’s what it does to you mentally and how you feel about being on the ice as a player.
“It takes a bit to get everything back and right now I feel I’m back to that.
“I’m feeling good on the ice and I’m able to translate that into games now.”
Schaber’s return to form and fitness couldn’t have come at a better time for the team which currently sits in bottom place in the EIHL and seven points short of a play-off place.
“We need to salvage so many points coming into this last stretch of games if we have any hope of making the play-offs,” he said.
“If we can get any lead that we can we need to stick together and not allow teams to penetrate through us and get back into games like at Manchester in Sunday.
“I don’t know what the hell happened there, but it’s something that definitely needs to be addressed.”
Despite the seven-point gap and the chances of making the play offs looking increasingly slim, Schaber says there in no lack of motivation in the Flyers’ dressing room.
“There are ways to find motivation and there is a hope to make the play-offs still, we’re not completely out of it.
“We have no option but to find motivation and see this through and do the best we can for the rest of the season.”
Next up are two tough looking matches – away to fourth placed Nottingham on Friday before league leaders Sheffield arrive at the Fife Ice Arena on Sunday.
Schaber said: “You can say whatever you want, but the only word that matters right now is desperation.
“Basically the type of hockey we have to play from here on now is desperate hockey. I’m talking backs against the wall and swinging a big knockout.
“We’re going to being playing very desperate in these big games coming up.”