This Sunday is a chance to avenge our close loss from last weekend in which the Steeldogs overturned us 4-3. What could be a better Valentine’s Day gift than two local derby hockey games.
Sheffield sit a couple of places below us in the table some 5 points adrift having played a game more. This is a big opportunity to keep them in the bottom half of the table and distance ourselves well away from them.
At the back they have Dmitri Zimzodra currently on 90.92% save percentage. Coach Ben Morgan alongside Lewis Bell offer stability at the back and chances will have to be earned instead of given. The play good systems and have clearly bought into coach Morgan’s philosophy. Given this it perhaps strange to see them languishing in the bottom half of the league. Maybe a couple of off games coupled with some injury issues have held them back this season.
Going forward import Vladimir Luka leads the way with 47 points from his 38 games. This has been split pretty evenly between 27 goals and 20 assists. No other player has scored more but second import Jan Danecek has 22 goals with Alex Graham and former Pirate Salem both on 19. Assist wise Captain Morgan leads his team with 40 assists significantly more than Alex Graham on 25 and Kieron Brown on 24. It is worth noting that Browns have come in 18 games however.
These two games could be a pivotal moment for us this season. We have oozed class and quality at times but have had a tendency to let games become close or slip away completely. A big 4 point weekend here with a near full strength team could push us right into the mix for the top 2 for 3 places.
We know that our games against Sheffield are relentlessly fierce and aggressive. It’s something I think our players thrive on and our fans love to watch. Come Sunday lets be at our best as a fan base. Lets be passionate and commanding. Lets back our boys and not let the Steeldogs settle. When we do this in our arena, the team play their best hockey. Be loud, be proud and lets see the lads through to a solid 4 point weekend.
By Dave Heath