High-flying Steeldogs braced for fireworks against bogey team

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MANCHESTER Phoenix have had the whip hand over Sheffield Steeldogs ever since Andre Payette’s team was formed.

But Payette hopes a new order will be imposed tomorrow afternoon (1pm).

Dogs currently lie in third, two places and one point ahead of Tony Hand’s men. And that’s the way Payette wants to keep it.

He said: “Manchester are our nemesis but after recent games and results, we really are hoping our time has come to take some points off the Phoenix.

“This is a huge game for us and, after last weekend, another tough challenge against another top level team.”

Tomorrow’s encounter is also a Cup game, so the two teams will be vying for a semi-final berth.

Phoenix have suffered from a few injuries recently, in particular to their two import defencemen, though Ladislav Harabin is in line to return to the line-up. The game has an early face off to avoid clashing with Bonfire Night.

A spokesman said: “It’s an unusually early start but what a way to kick off Bonfire Night celebrations: with lots of sparks flying on ice!

“Sheffield v Manchester always feature high tempo and hard fought games, but given the way Steeldogs are playing at present, Phoenix will be even more fired up to take the points back.”