Ben Churchfield quits Sheffield Steelers

Ben Churchfield has become the second player to leave the Sheffield Steelers class of 2021-22.

Saturday, 6th November 2021, 8:41 am

The third-choice netminder has headed back to his north American home, following the recent move by Travis Oleksuk to Austria.

In a Star interview, recently, the British-born goalie said he was enjoying learning from the imports ahead of him in the pecking order.

It was the 25-year-old's earnest wish to eventually become the starting netminder at Sheffield, he said.

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Ben Churchfield.

Churchfield, who played for Leeds Knights in the NIHL on one occasion, "asked for his release to pursue options back in North America" according to the EIHL club coach Aaron Fox.

"We had a few conversations the last couple weeks about his situation and he was really hoping for more game time," said Fox.

"With our situation currently it’s not something I could promise him so he wanted to see what his options are.

"We had the option to get him games with Leeds this weekend but he decided against that option.

Ben Cutts - captain material.

"He came in midweek and said he would prefer to explore his options in North America instead of playing in the NIHL.

"He’s a good kid who works very hard when he comes to the rink every day and is committed to being a starting goalie somewhere.

"I wish him well and hope he gets that opportunity."

British ice hockey can ill afford to lose homegrown players. But Churchfield obviously believes his best opportunities will come in Canada or the US.

Meanwhile, Sheffield's Ben Cutts aged 15, has been picked as captain of his Okanagan Hockey Europe team in Austria, ahead of Russian, American, and Canadian skaters.