Eddy’s ready for Steelers

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His name might appear as if it’s written back to front.

But Cullen Eddy is certainly not backwards at coming forwards, as Sheffield Steelers fans found out on Saturday.

Gord Baldwin celebrates the fourth for Steelers at the Arena

Gord Baldwin celebrates the fourth for Steelers at the Arena

The d-man showed his skills are in order with the season’s first Steeler goal, in the friendly against Coventry Blaze, at iceSheffield.

And, after being named man of the match, he carved a place in the supporters’ affections by going on a wacky solo round-rink skate ackowledging the paying customers.

Later, Eddy confessed the stunt was the product of a trick played on him by team-mates. “The boys were playing a joke on me,” he said. “They told me I had to hammer on the glass with my stick so and did it. It’s a new thing in Sheffield? “

Eddy’s first impact on Saturday was to equalise a goal scored by Ashley Tait. Jason Hewitt - the performer of the night - had blocked one shot, but Tait rifled in the rebound.

After just three hours of prior practice, ring rust was inevitable. Blaze controlled the early stages.

Yet Sheffield newboy Mathieu Roy was unlucky with one drive to the net and Pascal Morency had the best opportunity to level but couldn’t connect.

Eddy, who got himself into a tangle near his own net, rescued himself by hooking the puck off his line. Then he threw a mid ice hit which makes you wonder what lies ahead when the season gets underway.

Adversity struck when a puck bounced off Mark Thomas and over the line, Tait being awarded the goal at 1934. But that, effectively, was the end of the road team’s threat. For the next 40 minutes, Steelers were dominant.

Jay Latulippe teed up Tyler Mosienko to equalise at 2-2.

Dustin Kohn had a goal disallowed, but the home pressure was sustained, with Morency hitting the cross bar. Then a stroke of deserved fortune; a cross bouncing off Craig Cescon into his own Coventry net for 3-2, the goal credited to Kohn.

At the start of the last session a howitzer from Gord Baldwin hit the goalie’s blocker, took the stick out of his hand and flashed into the net for 4-2. Baldwin, looking the part, followed that with a big hit on Ben Arnt.

There was no stopping Eddy by this stage - other than the referee, who disallowed a goal from the d-man.

Eddy said there were issues to be addressed: “We had turnovers, things on the Power Play, but we’ve only been together one or two practices so those things will come as the season goes on.”

Last night, Steelers nosedived 5-1 in the away leg of the friendly - a warning that much work has to be done. Morency scored the only Sheffield goal at 43.53, but Blaze, in their own barn, were well on top.

* Steelers captain Jonathan Phillips is expected to miss the next three weeks of games after having his appendix removed on Sunday.

Phillips became unwell on Thursday and had blood tests on Friday before being admitted to hospital 24 hours later. The operation to remove the appendix was carried out on Sunday morning with Phillips returning home later that evening.

Coach Gerad Adams said “We were of course concerned for Jonathan and are delighted that he has had the operation and returned home. We will of course ensure he has the best medical treatment possible.

“I hope to see him back on the ice as soon as possible but will leave that to the clubs medical team, they will look after him and nurse back in due course”