Giant American goalie Decaro signs for Steelers

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Steelers have gone from Latvia to America in the quest to fill their net next season.

Coach Ryan Finnerty began a world wide search when Riga stopper Ervins Mustukovs quit the club.

He was linked with Canadian Ryan McDonald but today announced he had signed 6ft 3ins Washington-born netminder John DeCaro.

The 29-year-old back-stopped Bossier-Shreveport to the Central League championship last season, a side he has played for in four of the last five seasons. He is already being regarded by Belfast Giants coach Doug Christiansen as a leading contender for goalie of the season.

Finnerty said: “When I knew that John was available I knew he was our man. He is a game-winner and the perfect signing for us.

“I had other goalies lined up, but all along there was something stopping me from pulling the trigger. I had to be patient. Then we had talks with John and I knew instantly we had to land him. He is a big goalie and I like those big goalies. He is a winner and is coming off a championship season where he was one of the main reasons they won. He is a leader in the room, a character player and person.

“The goalie is so important in this league, you start pretty much every game, up to four times a week, that’s what makes this decision the biggest of them all.

“This is huge for us.”

DeCaro is looking forward to his first taste of Euro hockey: “This will be my sixth season professionally and I thought it was about time we looked at moving to Europe” he said. “The UK seemed to be a great fix for us. There was only one or two clubs I would have considered and Steelers were top of that list.

“You look at the history and see an organisation that puts winning teams together year after year.

“I want to win again. I spoke with Neil Clark and he told me how good it was in Sheffield last year.

“There is nothing better than that winning feeling. I work hard and I try and give my team a chance to win every night. I’m a big goalie, I wouldn’t say I was flashy. I make the first save, I fight to make the second and the third as well”.

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