Recognition for successful Dogs’ campaign

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SHEFFIELD Steeldogs player coach Andre Payette has received the accolade of EPL Coach of the Year in his first full year of coaching.

He gained the recognition from the Ice Hockey Journalists organisation.

Janis Ozolins became EPL Player of the Year for his outstanding year - he has topped the goal scorers table (53) and top points (84) for most of the year.

Netminder Ben Bowns was also picked for the All Stars first Team, recognition for his 93.24% save record.

A club spokesman said: “This season has seen us near the top of the League for the majority of the year, as well as reaching the Cup Final for Sheffield’s first time (losing 12-5 on aggregate to Guildford Flames), after knocking out Milton Keynes in the semi-finals.

Teams around the league now see Steeldogs as a force to be reckoned with, rather than an easy target for points.”

Steeldogs are at iceSheffield tomorrow against Bracknell Bees (7.30pm) in their last regular season home game.

Both teams need the points, Steeldogs to keep their third position and pick themselves up after the Cup Final loss and Bracknell want to make the Play-offs. Steeldogs’ nearest rivals for the final third League placing, Slough and Milton Keynes, play back-to-back games this weekend.

If Sheffield slip up this weekend, one of these teams will be their play-off opponents.