Winger has 60 days to earn place on ice roster

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STEELERS hope to ice new American import RG Flath at Sheffield Arena tonight.

Player coach Ryan Finnerty has signed the winger, who hails from Park City, Utah, on a 60-day contract to cover for injured forward Mike Ramsay.

And if he plays well, he could keep his spot on the team - which will put all the imports on their toes.

“If RG forces my hand by playing so well he improves our team I will have to keep him,” he said. Flath, who is 5ft 11ins, signed yesterday and immediately began his journey to the UK.

“While most of the documentation has been completed, there are still some obstacles to overcome before he can ice against Dundee Stars.

The 27-year-old, who started his career in 2004-05 with Soo Indians, in the North American junior hockey league, is not a big goal scorer, so should not be seen by fans as a like-for-like replacement for Ramsay.

“There are not millions of players out there available but RG seems to be a solid winger who will play a role for us,” said Finnerty.

“We are not expecting him to score the goals Ramsay would have - all the other players are going to have to step up to the plate there.

“I have spoken to a few of his old coaches and they say he is a hard worker, can play in all situations and will chip in with goals and finishe his checks.”

Finnerty had been chasing 6ft 2ins former Manchester Phoenix player Ryan Watson.

He has played in Italy for the past three seasons but has yet to commit to a club there. That however appears to be on the horizon, thwarting Finnerty’s plans.

If Flath does not get clearance in time, offensive defenceman Steve Birnstill will leave the blue line and join the Legue-Clark line.

New Yorker Birnstill hit the net 23 times in three seasons in Denmark, but hasn’t got off the mark so far in the British Elite League.