Fiery Limpright backed to lead Steelers title bid

Shawn Limpright Fight - Sheffield Steelers v Nottingham Panthers 27/12/12
Shawn Limpright Fight - Sheffield Steelers v Nottingham Panthers 27/12/12
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STEELERS boss Ryan Finnerty believes his star players perform better against the top teams - and they will certainly need to do that tonight.

Second-placed Belfast Giants will put a nail in Sheffield’s title coffin if they beat them at the Odyssey Arena.

But Finnerty believes his side, and players like Shawn Limpright in particular, dominate in the higher-profile contests.

Sheffield are one place and five points behind Giants with a game in hand. A regulation time win will bolster a championship campaign that has flagged at times.

“We are a better team when we play Belfast and Nottingham; their style suits us,” says the coach. “Guys want to play an in-your-face physical game and that works well in games like this.

“Limper (Limpright) is a skill player, has the puck a lot, and plays better against the bigger teams - that’s when he comes to shine.

“He is a player you have to watch closely to admire, he can slow the play down when you need it.

“He may turn it over sometimes and overhandles the puck in some situations, but for most part he plays smart and is probably our best defensive centre.

“You can play him in any situation and he is very good on (face off) draws.

“You don’t notice him flying down the wing or is flashy like Leggy (Jeff Legue.) But he has never been shy in his career to drop the gloves, either.

“He has not done it as much this year as in previous, but he is a former team captain and does whatever he has to, to win,” added Finnerty.

Tonight’s game sees Steelers arrive in Belfast with their new signing from Giants, Scott Champagne.

On the opposite other roster, is Colin Shields, who recently quit the South Yorkshire club in surprising circumstances. Finnerty is playing down any grudge element over Shields.

“This game is a lot bigger than Colin Shields,” he said. “Shields playing for them is not going to stop us or change the way we’ll be playing.”