Danish bonding will serve us well, says Chad

Priceless: Defenceman Chad Huttell thinks the overseas tournament will help bring the players together even more.
Priceless: Defenceman Chad Huttell thinks the overseas tournament will help bring the players together even more.
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CHAD Huttell says Steelers will return to Sheffield Arena a better team for their Denmark trip - despite losing all three of their Continental Cup matches.

The American defenceman is preparing for tonight’s return to Elite League action against Cardiff Devils insisting that there wasn’t a huge gap between his side and the bigger-benched Europeans, last weekend.

And the bonding of staying together over several days had a beneficial side to it, he said.

“It was a priceless experience,” said Huttel.

“We may have been frustrated by some of the refereeing and we certainly are not happy with the results over there, but there were a lot of positive things to come out of it.

“We were up against very fast teams - but I looked around and realised we were pretty fast ourselves and we had size and strength too. It makes for a confident team, but not a cocky one. Hanging around together in the hotel was a rejuvenating experience everybody seemed to enjoy. There were so many memories to take away.

“On ice, if there is something that we have learned hopefully it is to keep our mouthes shut when we are given a penalty.

“The refereeing was bad but there will be times back in our league where we will face decisions we don’t agree with, but we’ll just have to get on with it.”

The 22-year-old blue liner from Hermantown, Minnesota says playing three games in three days in Herning will also have taught a few of the younger players a trick or two in conserving energy.

Sheffield face five games in nine days from this weekend and the defenceman said: “It was good to get that series under our belt. The older players will have done it before but others will now know what it takes.”

Huttel has only played a couple of league games with skipper Jonathan Phillips but has seen enough of him to share teammates’ delight at his return to action from injury, tonight at the Arena, against Cardiff Devils.

“He is a character guy, a leader on and off the ice. He has got a burst (of speed) and is so strong on his feet

“You can never be content, but hopefully we have all the ingredients now to stop fighting for the top of the league and win our games inhand.”

The return of Mike Ramsay is another plus, he said. “All the guys are excited to get him back.”

Cardiff lost 4-3 at home against Nottingham Panthers in overtime, on Wednesday.