Sheffield ice hockey: Three goals from 100 shots against young goalie!

Sheffield Steeldogs start 2018 still top of the league but face an uphill battle if they are to progress in the cup

The seasonal fixtures brought some familiar results for the Steeldogs; two defeats by Hull and a 5-0 win over Blackburn.

The Pirates just seem to have the Dogs number at present – and their 22-year-old netminder Adam Long proved to be a real headache.

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Recently dumped by Peterborough, Long is the fifth player to backstop Hull this season and his form suggests that they may finally have the right man.

Sheffield only scored three goals from 100 shots over 120 minutes against him - and two of those were from lucky bounces.

Chances will need to be taken if the Steeldogs are to get the better of their East Yorkshire rivals.

The two losses make progressing in the National Cup difficult now as it will require winning their two remaining games, including a difficult mid-week game in Peterborough.

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Whilst scoring against Hull may have been an issue, the defence remains strong.

They limited the Pirates opportunities and blanked Blackburn. Net minder Dmitri Zimozdra followed his well-deserved shut out with a save percentage over 94% in Hull and he continues to be one of the best in the league. He will need to maintain that form over the coming weeks with Telford and Hull both snapping at the Steeldogs heels.

This weekend sees two home games for the Dogs, both of them in the league. Saturday (19:30) they take on the Deeside Dragons and Sunday (17:30) the Solway Sharks.

Deeside have struggled this season but Solway are a very competitive side having beaten Telford last week, so will provide a very meaningful test of for Ben Morgan’s team.