Steelers learn from their European mistakes

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RYAN FINNERTY puts Sheffield Steelers’ decent run of form partly down to discipline - a rare commodity in an explosive sport like ice hockey.

The champions were heavily penalised by referees in a recent European competition in Denmark.

But since their return they have largely managed to stay out the penalty box and have tried to avoid pointless abuse-of-official infringements.

The player coach said: “We have stayed disciplined since coming back from Continental Cup; it has been unbelievable, we have shown whole bench control.

“I think we have learned that it doesn’t do us any favours. You have to give credit to the boys because we are earning a ton of our own Power Plays - now it is just a case of executing them better than we are doing.

“After the Continental Cup guys admitted it’s not worth running after referees, you don’t get any favours from doing that. If you avoid that you can end up on the plus side of penalties every night.”

Improving the efficiency of Steeler power plays may become an issue later on in the season unless some headway is made.

Currently, the club only scores on 14 per cent of their PP advantages, compared to league leading Belfast, who score on 21 per cent.

In penalty killing, however, Finnerty’s men are more efficient, they have avoided being scored on on 89 per cent of occasions, which is on a par with the Giants.

Meanwhile Steelers will be expected to beat bottom club Fife Flyers home and away this weekend.

In the series, a couple of milestones maybe reached. Veteran winger Ashley Tait - who scored a crucial goal against Belfast a week ago - requires four points to reach 500 all-time Elite competition competitive points.

And on Sunday’s trip north of the border Sheffield need just two goals for their 700th all-time EIHL league away goal.