Explosive form from this Sheffield Steelers' forward, plus Liam Kirk latest

A tactical tweak has triggered Finnish forward Mikko Juusola into make a "dynamite" impact on his new Sheffield Steelers' team.
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Juusola scored his first brace for the EIHL club on Sunday in the 5-0 win over Fife Flyers.

He also claimed an assist, as he had the night before in the 4-1 win at Nottingham Panthers.

His output follows a move up the lines.

Mikko Juusola celebrates pic by Dean WoolleyMikko Juusola celebrates pic by Dean Woolley
Mikko Juusola celebrates pic by Dean Woolley
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In the game prior to last weekend, the 25-year-old former Liiga skater had been in a formation with Brett Neumann and Scott Allen.

The team had been doing well, but coach Aaron Fox sensed an improvement was still necessary.

He explained: "We moved him up. We were looking to get that 29-25 line going and moved Ciamp (Daniel Ciampini) down to them and moved Miiko up to add maybe a little more pace to the 14 (Patrick Watling) and 10 (Josh Nicholls) unit - and so it worked well."

Fox said Juusola had been "dynamite" in his 17 minutes on the ice against Fife last Sunday.

Mikko JuusolaMikko Juusola
Mikko Juusola
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"He could have probably had four or five on his own, he just played with so much tempo and pace.

"You can see his confidence when he is making plays, he is hard to handle when he gets his feet moving especially in the offensive zone."

He was relentless when he was off the puck too, helping his own team mates and making it a tough night for the Scots.

Fox was also pleased with his fourth line, which saw Brandon Whistle return from injury to join Mark Simpson and Cole Shudra.

Liam KirkLiam Kirk
Liam Kirk

Shudra had been "solid all year long for us" he said.

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"There has been only one game that we played this year where his minutes were under eight or nine minutes so he has played a regular shift. He is responsible, and chips in offensively."

He said it was great to have Whistle back in the side from injury, the Great Britain player scoring his first of the season.

And Mark Simpson was lauded for covering ground in his power-forward role.

Meanwhile, former Steeler Liam Kirk has had a successful start to his spell with HC Litvínov in the Czech Republic. He has scored seven points in his first 13 games for the club where he has signed a one-year deal. They are currently second in the Extraliga standings.

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Kirk has made history by being Litvínov's first British player.

The Maltby-born forward is putting himself on view for teams all over the world after the disappointment of being released by NHL franchise Arizona Coyotes.

Team manager Tomáš Vrábel said: "He is a young, hungry and motivated player. He wants to progress and improve. He has decent skating, hockey thinking, and finishing."

Kirk's signing was dependent on a financial arrangement involving a business partner of the club.

"We are very grateful to the club's main partner, STEBAL. Without their support, Liam's arrival would not have been possible," commented CEO Pavel Hynek.