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Sheffield Steelers: who needs flair players?

Ashley Tait - Sheffield Steelers

Ashley Tait - Sheffield Steelers

STEELERS’ players would be more than content to ‘bore’ their way to the Elite League title.

Sheffield’s team accept that they might not be as offensive and flair-packed as their chief rivals Nottingham Panthers, whom they face tomorrow.

But it’s results that matter - and after seven straight wins, the second-placed ice men feel their miserly defence could help them overtake Panthers at the top soon.

Workhorse winger Ashley Tait, looking ahead to tomorrow’s ‘four-pointer’ at the National Ice Centre remarked: “We can sit and bore the pants off 7,000 people if that’s what we need to do, to win. Some people moan, but two points is two points.

“There are always some people who are not happy with 2-1, they think it’s not enough. For us, 2-1 1-0 or 9-1 it’s irrelevant, it’s all about getting two points.”

Goaltender John DeCaro agreed with Tait’s sentiment. “Not every night is going to be pretty” he said.

“But we have to do what we do best to get points and stay in the race.

“We don’t have the offensive power like Nottingham; we don’t spank teams by six or seven on most nights, like they do. But we play our game they way we are suppose to. We are built as a north American play off team. We grind it out and we know what we need to do to win games.

“It is not always the most entertaining to watch. But we’re looking for wins - nothing else.”

DeCaro says this weekend’s games against Nottingham, Belfast Giants and Dundee Stars represents “the biggest weekend of the year so far.

“We have to keep going and play the way we can. At Nottingham, we will have to shut them down defensively as much as we can. I expect it to be tight, a game that can go either way.”

Tait thinks Sheffield’s steely mentality will be a critical factor. “As a player you focus on getting to the rink, doing what you need to do, forgetting all about the surrounding circus. You have to keep your focus on what the game, whether you are heckled by the crowd or victims of a bad (refereeing) decision. We just have to push all that aside and concentrate.”

 

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