Dogs face ex Steeler brawler

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SHEFFIELD Steeldogs will have to summon up new levels of endurance if they are to beat joint EPL pacesetters Guildford Flames, at home, on Sunday.

Andre Payette’s team have a 400-mile round-trip to Basingstoke the night before, arriving back in the early hours.

Then they take on a Flames side on top, jointly, with Slough Jets, who beat them, twice, last weekend.

Flames have won their last seven games and shut out four teams this season. Dogs will have to make sure they convert any chances on net to avoid a repetition of last Sunday’s 0-1 loss.

Payette said: “I’m really hoping we can pick up at least two points this weekend, especially at home on Sunday, but I’m expecting another tough game against the Flames, the best team in the league so far. I’m proud of what we have achieved in the first half of the season and am looking forward to the games over Christmas and into 2012.”

Flames have made a controversial signing since their last visit to iceSheffield, bringing in ex-Steelers’ heavyweight Andrew Sharp.

He has managed to deflect some of the negative comments since he was signed by claiming two goals in his first weekend in a Flames shirt, with only eight minutes of penalties.

Guildford are a skilful team with a full quota of quality imports and to which they have now added extra toughness with Sharp.

Flames Head Coach, Paul Dixon said of the signing: “Teams play very hard against us and obviously physical play is a big part of any strategy to turn aside a skilled team.

“Having a guy like Andrew on your bench has a way of creating a bit more space for our guys, and ensures the opposition play honest.”