Streatham Adam Wood believes that a positive attitude will be key as the RedHawks open their National Ice Hockey League campaign this weekend with a double header.
The 27-year-old utility player – the club’s alternate captain – will skate out for his fourth season in SW16 after a summer of multiple transfers with no less than nine new faces arriving at the club.
“Everyone has come in with the right attitude and is there to work hard,” explained the Somerset-born player.
“We are still all getting to know each other but things are clicking on the ice, the team is looking sharp and quick which is what we are going for.”
Streatham face local rivals London Raiders in the Cup on Saturday and then 24 hours later host new boys Cardiff Fire in the league. The RedHawks eased to a 12-0 victory over Lee Valley Lions in their only pre-season fixture but the competitive games are likely to be a much sterner test.
“This first weekend of games is going to be an interesting one for sure,” admitted Wood, who faces his old team Cardiff on the Sunday.
“London have just announced Juraj Huska and that signing alone adds some serious firepower, they have also managed to assemble what is essentially the best of last year’s London and Chelmsford teams.”
“Cardiff at home on Sunday should be interesting, the main challenge is the fact that they are very much an unknown entity. I know a few of the guys from my days in Cardiff but really it’s a whole new team with quite a few players we haven’t played against. They will definitely be challenging games but as a team we can’t wait to get started.”
Known for his feisty style of play, Wood makes few friends in opposition line-ups around the league. He notched an eye-watering 125 minutes in penalties last year and dropped the gloves a number of times.
Some of his opponents are now team-mates in the new-look Streatham team and Wood believes it isn’t surprising to find that attitudes change very quickly in the sport when you wear the same jersey.
“It’s so common to play against players and really dislike them to only find out years down the line that they are great guys,” said Wood.
“We definitely clashed over the past couple of seasons playing against each other but Bairdy (Brendan Baird) is sat next to me in the changing room and is definitely not as bad as I may have previously thought.”
Streatham are awaiting a late fitness test on goalie Nate Gregory, who missed the Lee Valley game through injury, and will have to wait until Sunday for forward Dan Rose to be able to ice after his suspension from the end of last season.
Face off in Streatham on Sunday is at the later time of 6.45pm.