AUDIO: Sheffield Steelers ‘horny’ forwards must cool their ardour!

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Time isn’t something Paul Thompson has a lot of.

The Sheffield Steelers’ coach has only had two friendly games and a handful of practice sessions to prepare his side for Champions Hockey League elite opponents in Sweden and Finland later this week.

But last weekend’s games with Braehead Clan (a win and a draw) gave him some specifics to mull over before the team flies out tomorrow.

“Sometimes in pre-season, when everything goes swimmingly well, it’s very hard to look at what you need to work at” he said. “We weren’t good for a 10-minute period on Sunday; we were just thinking about offence. That happens in pre-season you get your ups and downs and we broke down a bit. We got a bit ‘horny’ offensively; defensively we were losing our responsibilities and giving up odd-man rushes. Clan are good, they fly three guys and took advantage of that.

“I told the team I wasn’t happy, with the way we were playing, the way we were focusing defensively. Then we shored that up and showed great character to come back and tie the game 3-3. I am really happy with the tempo of both games, preparing us to go in the CHL.”

Thompson said defensively, there had been sloppiness. “Our third guy in the offensive zone, when we didn’t have puck possession...he was looking to get into areas to score goals, you can’t have that when you don’t have the puck.

Steelers d-men Zack Fitzgerald and Cullen Eddy after the aggegate win over Braehed in the Royal Victoria Holiday Inn cup contest.

Steelers d-men Zack Fitzgerald and Cullen Eddy after the aggegate win over Braehed in the Royal Victoria Holiday Inn cup contest.

“You have got to play smarter. Back in our own end we have got a new system, that will take time, we overloaded to the boards on one occasion and gave up a goal.

“A bad pass, a mistake, that happens this time of year. But I think there are a lot more positives than negatives.”

Thompson says it is too early to make definitive judgements about the deployment of Tyler Mosienko as centreman with Mathieu Roy and Colton Fretter.

“The line got goals over the weekend, but it’s early days yet. I might tinker with the odd line, but I think we are getting a bit of a base and an understanding.

“Our ‘D’ was very strong, (goaltender) Tyler Plante was fantastic, solid in both games, but we hanged him out to dry a couple of times on Sunday.

“The penalty kill was very good, and we scored two Power Play goals.”

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