Sheffield Steelers aim to slay the Welsh dragon

Luke Ferrara - Sheffield Steelers
Luke Ferrara - Sheffield Steelers
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Steelers’ league record against leaders Cardiff Devils has to change dramatically if the champions are to hold on to their trophy for a third straight term.

On Sunday, Sheffield get the chance to claim back a win over a team that has beaten them 3-2 three times, 4-2 and 5-2 - points which effectively have put Devils in first place and Steelers in third.

Winger Luke Ferrara accepts the Welsh have had the upper hand. “In the head-to-heads, you could say Cardiff have been better, maybe we were thinking about the importance of our games with them too much” he said.

“We have to treat this game like it’s any other game and win the individual battles and do what we are best at.”

Ferrara recognises the champions have a point to prove at Cardiff: “That goes without saying. We haven’t played well against them but we have become a better team since we played them, especially in defence. We are paying attention more to the details of our game and focusing for the full 60 minutes.”

A win in Cardiff won’t mean much, though, if Steelers don’t get two points their Sunday game at home to Braehead Clan.

*Former Steeler and Great Britain forward Tony Hand has been inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame.

The 49-year-old will receive the Richard ‘Bibi’ Torriani Award - for an outstanding career by a player from a non-top hockey nation - as part of the 2017 inductees.

The Edinburgh-born former forward scored over 4,250 points in an illustrious 34-year playing career.

He became the first British-raised player to be drafted by an NHL side when he was picked up by Edmonton Oilers in 1986.

In a two-year stint as GB head coach, he led the national side to the final qualifying stages for the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014.

Hand said: “I am honoured to receive this award, it really is fantastic.

“I would like to thank my family, all the coaches I have worked with and all my former team-mates.

“I would also like to thank the IIHF committee for this nomination, it is something very special.

“This is something I will really cherish and I feel proud to be inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame.”

Ice Hockey UK chairman, Richard Grieveson, said: “This is a special moment for Tony and one he fully deserves.

“He is a legend in UK ice hockey and has done so much for the sport in this country.

“This shows the respect Tony has worldwide and I would like to congratulate him on his award.”

The 2017 IIHF Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place in Cologne Germany on 21st May, the final day of the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

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