Captain Dowd pilots Sheffield Steelers to win over Cardiff Devils
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But he had to confess to the odd pang of anxiety before his first game as skipper on Saturday, a 1-0 challenge match win over Cardiff Devils.
The warmth of support from 6,296 fans helped dissipate any tension – and the fact he didn’t skate flat on his face when he went to perform the pre-match formalities.
So how did Captain Dowd feel?
“Little things go through your head really, it was really good obviously to get it off with winning form,” he said.
“I thought we played fantastic, there was a little bit of nerves but not too bad!”
Dowd had previously delivered a brief locker room address to his team-mates – but little different from his normal contribution.
“I’m always pretty vocal in the room anyway. I talk a lot – I have done that for quite a while now, but no I didn’t plan anything extra special.”
Instead, he admitted to uttering a “lot of cliches: ‘Start well, get after them, play like we did last week, nice and fast.’”
Dowd reiterated that the number one priority for the season was to lift their first league championship since 2016.
“The league is the number one, it is everything here – we have that football mentality,” he said.
The only goal of Saturday’s fascinating contest came from Patrick Watling, seizing on a Niklas Nevalainen rebound.