Big Sheffield Arena ice ‘will suit new look team’

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Sheffield Steelers fans can expect to see a more open, exciting game on the big Arena ice tomorrow.

An increase in the size of the end zones makes for a more attack-minded game, believes Sheffield defenceman Mark Thomas. And the general size of the Arena pad will encourage the skill players, too.

Jason Hewitt and Mark Thomas at work on the Arena ice

Jason Hewitt and Mark Thomas at work on the Arena ice

Thomas said: “The (new) boys can now get used to playing on the big ice, Nottingham was the first time we’ve played on an Olympic sized ice, so we are looking forward to it. They have changed the blue lines around so it is was always going to be more open for shots.”

Steelers lost at Nottingham before a narrow win over Belfast, last weekend.

The veteran D-man said it had been important to “answer back” with the win at iceSheffield.

He also predicted a positive fan reaction towards Tyler Mosienko, free to make his competitive debut after suspension. Thomas said he was “very skilful, when he is in the corners he is all tight turns, and obviously he can score goals. It is going to be good to get him back in the line-up.”

He added that it was important to get “points on board by Christmas and not be playing catch up. There is a breaking-in period (with the new players) but we seem to be gelling quite well - there is still more to come.”

Steelers practiced on Arena ice for the first time yesterday.

They will skate there today and Saturday morning ahead of that night’s Arena opener against Cardiff which will also include the raising of the 2014 Play Off Championship Banner.

n Devin Didiomete has left the club after his five-match spell. He said the fans and club were “spectacular” in their dealings with him. “You fans are lucky to have such great men wearing your jersey. Your organisation is first class.”