A weekend to remember for this Sheffield Steelers import
Eric Neiley won't ever forget his home debut on Sheffield Steelers' ice.
Almost 7,200 fans watched him come on for his first shift at Sheffield Arena and bury a chance for his new club.And the following night he notched another in the 7-1 drubbing of Edinburgh Capitals in Scotland.Neiley, who had previously played two games for Sheffield at Belfast Giants and three in the Continental Cup in Belarus, was particularly delighted with his part in Saturday’s 7-3 win over Guildford Flames.“It was as good a home debut as you could draw up, I guess” he said.“The team wins, a couple of points, score on first shift so...it was all good.”Injury to forward Robert Dowd - who will have further investigation on his MCL issues on Tuesday - meant he took his spot on the Andreas Valdix-Levi Nelson line.“You never want injuries, obviously, but for me it worked out, because I got to come in and play a big role right away” he said. “So I felt more of a part of it instead of coming in and having a feeling-out period. “I was thrown right into it. That way you can just play hockey, it doesn’t matter.”The 25 year old American left Adirondack Thunder in the ECHL and has adapted well to the bigger European ice pads.He also has a good handle on his new side’s assets.“We are a good team. We have got a good goalie, we have got shut-down defencemen, offensive defencemen, we can score goals, I don’t really know if there is a weakness...we can roll four lines when we have them.“Right now we are short and everybody is stepping up so we have a good team.”Neiley said he’d enjoyed his time with Adirondack, a team based in Glens Falls, New York, and affiliated with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.“I was doing great over there, and having a good time. I was loving the team I played on but I wanted something new,I have never really lived anywhere else. I thought it would be a fun experience. So far I think I have made the right decision.He said the fact the priority in the UK was winning the Elite League meant it was important the winning home run should continue - they have won their last five in South Yorkshire.