Mike Cazzola suffered a flashback to his turbulent first season in the Elite League as Fife Flyers suffered a 10-3 defeat at the hands of Sheffield Steelers on Saturday.
While at Edinburgh Capitals in 2017-18, the Canadian centreman was on the receiving end of several double figure losses in what was to be the Murrayfield club’s final season in the EIHL.
While such results were common place for a vastly under-resourced Edinburgh side, Saturday was the first time Flyers have suffered such a hiding since a 10-2 reverse in Nottingham in 2013, and the first time any visiting EIHL team has racked up 10 goals at Fife Ice Arena.
However, Cazzola and his team mates quickly put the shocking defeat behind them with a solid 4-1 win over Nottingham just 24 hours later.
“I don’t think Sunday repaired it, but I know the guys in the room were just looking forward to getting that game started, and showing everyone what we’re capable of,” said the 28-year-old.
“We knew we had to respond because Saturday night was unacceptable.
“We hold each other accountable in the room and we had a quick chat about it, then we moved on.
“Hopefully that will never happen again.
“When I played for Edinburgh there were a couple of games like that.
“They’re tough, but I thought we showed a good response the next day because sometimes games like that can stick around and haunt you, and put you into a losing streak.
“It’s good that we turned the page quickly, and we were able to put on a good performance on Sunday night.”
Cazzola, a pivotal figure in Sunday’s bounce back win as well as the scorer of the team’s fourth goal, revealed that the key to overcoming Saturday’s heavy loss was to quickly forget about it.
“We didn’t want to dwell on that going into Sunday’s game,” he said.
“Even the coaching staff barely spoke about it.
“Everyone knows there was a lack of performance by everyone, but if you keep talking about it, and let it stick around, guys can get a little bit negative.
“We just wanted to forget about it and move forward.”
Flyers had a quick chance to exact revenge in a Wednesday night trip to Sheffield that took place after our print deadline, before heading into a weekend home and away double-header against Guildford Flames.
“We just have to be able to play defensively the way we can, and it just comes down to effort,” Cazzola said.
“If we have guys willing to put in the work then we should be fine.”
Now in his second season with Fife, Cazzola views himself as one of the team leaders, both on and off the ice.
“I always try to be as vocal as I can,” he said.
“Whenever I see something, or if I feel something needs to be changed, I have no problem speaking up.
“Everyone holds each other accountable and we have a lot of leaders in the room already.
“For me, I go out there, work hard, and make sure I’m not shy to chime up when need be.
“Nothing’s changed too much from last year in that regard.”