Sheffield Steelers best player in the run-in and finals weekend?
Many consider it was Frank Doyle who ended the season with a goals-against average of just 2.66 and a saves percentage of over 90.
Doyle was the only goalie in the league to start all 64 games last season, playing 3,852 minutes and conceding just 171 goals.
And club veteran Jonathan Phillips believes that Doyle will only get better next season
“I think this is a tough league for goalies to come into.” said Phillips. “In many other leagues you share the goaltending duties. Not here. You are in every night and that’s tough.
“Frank started every game for us, he played fit, he played injured and there must have been times he played tired.
“Also, there was the schooling as well. I have never done an MBA programme but to fit all the work at the University of Sheffield on top of his playing duties, there was some pressure on Frank all year.
“I think coming back for a second year he knows what to expect both on and off the ice.
“Last year he needed a month to get settled and then we saw just what we had signed. His form was excellent, once we started playing better in front of him results turned and you saw us go on that great run which helped us clinch the play off title.
“Nothing flaps Frank; he is quiet, methodical and prepared. All hell can be going on around him and he stays in control.
“We saw that in both the semi-final and final of the play-offs this year. He kept us in the game and gave us the opportunity to win.
“We have had some crazy, loud goalies in the past and we have had some quiet, thoughtful guys. He is certainly in the latter category.
“We know we have a goalie who can take us all the way to winning championships.
“The guys love having him back there and trust him implicitly.
“I wouldn’t swap him for any other goalie in the league.”