ICE HOCKEY

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Andre Payette believes last Sunday’s annual Teddy Bear Toss again proved to be a huge success, after Sheffield Steeldogs collected over 200 bears for three local charities.

Although Payette’s team was on the end of a 2-1 defeat to Swindon Wildcats, the Steeldogs head coach labelled the evening ‘fantastic’ and he and a few of the Steeldogs first team squad will now personally be delivering the teddy bears to the charities within the next two weeks.

The three charities that the Steeldogs will be delivering the bears to are the Bluebell Wood Children’s hospice, the Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Issabelle’s Appeal.

“It was a success,” Payette told Grass Roots.

“We collected over 200 teddy bears and it was fantastic to see.

“There was teddy bears all over the ice and we are now looking to get the bears to the children within the next week or so and three or four players will come along as well.”

The previous day saw Steeldogs lose a thrilling 15-goal encounter against Bracknell Bees, who they face again tomorrow before welcoming Milton Keynes Lightning in a IceSheffield double-header.

Payette’s side lost their enthralling clash against Bracknell in the final 18 seconds of over time and the Canadian has called on his defensive to tighten up ahead of another ‘tough’ weekend.

“It (the Bracknell Bees game) was end-to-end and we lost it in the final 18 seconds of over time, but hopefully we are little better defensively this weekend.

He added: “Milton Keynes are also always a tough team to face and the two sides often get into plenty of fights, but we are hopeful that we will be able to beat them for a third time this season.”