Dogs back in league combat

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SHEFFIELD Steeldogs have to regroup from their Cup Final first-leg disappointment to host Manchester Phoenix tomorrow (7.30pm.) and then Swindon Wildcats on Sunday (5.30pm.)

Andre Payette’s men lost 6-3 in the midweek tie to Guildford Flames but can take our their frustration of Phoneix, their arch rivals.

If Steeldogs can take the straight win in this game, they will have edged the series, which would deemed an incredible achievement this year. It would also help Steeldogs to keep hold of third League position. The games between these two teams have become more hostile over the last two years and with Sheffield no longer easy pickings for Phoenix, there is a much greater edge and feisty hockey on the ice.

Payette commented: “I am looking forward to a great game against Manchester. We have run them neck to neck all year but for us to have any chance to overtake them into 2nd place, we have to win on Saturday (7.30pm). They have been hard battles all this season and I this is the climax.”

Dogs will be at full strength and determined to hold onto their home winning streak in League games, only halted by the Cup game against Guildford. All games going down the stretch are must-win games for both teams. Manchester are still aiming to win all their remaining games in an outside bid to retain their League title for a second year, but to do that, they also need Guildford to drop points.

On Sunday Steeldogs meet up with Wildcats again in a quick re-match after their 5-1 loss in Swindon last weekend.