VIDEO: Sheffield Steelers players stand by banned Colton Fretter

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Zack Fitzgerald says the entire Sheffield Steelers dressing room remains behind Colton Fretter, currently serving a six-match ban after a retaliatory assault on Belfast Giants Spiro Goulakos.

Fretter has served four of the games, so far and will be available for this month's Continental Cup action in Denmark.

Zack Fitzgerald

Zack Fitzgerald

And Fitzgerald, no stranger to being in disciplinary hot water himself, says he could understand why Fretter retaliated after being the victim of numerous incidents this year, when he has been targeted from the back.

"We support Frets fully" he said.

"Things happen in a game and sometimes you lose your cool a bit - I have been in the same position many a time.

"But I support what he did. You have got to stand up for yourself. When you are consistently put in that position and you are getting taken advantage of, things are going to happen.

"But we support Frets and guys will step up and contribute. He is a tough spot to fill, but we have got guys who can do it."

Asked about the incident itself, which the League described as a "wilful negligence act of intent to cause injury" the defenceman said: "Sometimes you are not thinking too straight.

"You are human and you have just been hit from behind. You are not calculating things fully. I have been in that position many a times.

"It is hard to think. In hindsight...he could have done a million different things but at the time when you are heated up like that...it happens."

Fretter, who will miss Wednesday's League game against Dundee Stars and Saturday's Challenge Cup mission against Manchester Storm, was "still fully a part of the team, he is involved in everything, other than the games" said his team-mate.

"He is probably going to be a bigger stronger better player at the end of this.

"He will be in better shape, fit and ready to go. "

"If we are to take some positives out of it, he will be rested - us older bodies can use it now and then, rest is a weapon, so maybe it adds fuel to his internal fire and comes back stronger than before."

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