Sheffield Steelers goalies cleared of blame

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Paul Thompson has the unwanted problem of two goaltenders leaking goals - and it’s not really either of their faults!

Czech import Marek Pink conceded six goals (and an empty netter) in the 7-5 defeat at Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday - the second time they have lost to that side in three weeks.

And Sheffield conceded another seven to Nottingham, with American Tyler Plante between the posts, on October 31.

Coach Thompson had no criticism of Pinc after the Scottish road trip, saying he - like the injured Plante before him - had been “hung out to dry” by his team-mates.

Steelers had gone behind 0-3, attacked hard, and been repeatedly caught out on the counter, with Pinc left exposed.

Pinc’s style of performance has been complimented by Plante, who himself hopes to be back in contention in the next two or three weeks.

Tyler Plante - hoping to be back soon for Sheffield Steelers

Tyler Plante - hoping to be back soon for Sheffield Steelers

He described the former Czech international as “quite different to me, he’s a little more stand-up. He’s quick and you can tell he really reads shooters well. He has got a lot of years under his belt.

He said Pinc’s arrival in his absence was a positive thing. “We needed another number one, (British goalie) Brad (Day) did great, nothing against him, but we needed another number one. I wish him (Pinc) all the best I hope he does well for us, that’s the most important thing, it’s what this game is all about: winning. There is nothing wrong with competitive pushing each other. It just makes each other better.

“I am confident in my abilities and am going to work as hard as I can to get healthy and then worry about it (getting his place back) after that.”

The original injury-time assessment was about a month, “but as a player you always want to shave some time off that. So that’s my goal” he said.

Some fans criticised the club’s use of Plante in his last home game, when the player was clearly injured.

But he clarified his position on that: “Any player is going to want to go to bat for their team-mates.

“If you play this sport you know you are going to have to grind out some injuries sometimes and I’d go back and do it all over again, probably.”

Sheffield are currently fourth in the EIHL table, with 15 points from a possible 24.

They are six points behind league-leading Belfast Giants, but have three games in hand.