Ice Hockey: When Sheffield beat Leeds at anything, it's a time for rejoicing!

When Sheffield beat Leeds in any sport, it is a time for rejoicing in the southern part of Yorkshire.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 5:14 pm
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 5:14 pm

And it was no different in ice hockey, when Sheffield Steeldogs beat Leeds Chiefs 4-1, on the opening night of their new rink, last weekend.

Dogs followed that up with a 4-2 victory at Telford Tigers, the following night.

Dogs player/coach Ben Morgan will hope last weekend marked the beginning of a better phase - they had lost the previous three games.

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"The boys were buzzing coming off a four-point weekend, especially as they were a challenging pair of games - lots of hype and anticipation around the Leeds game and then the normal big challenge of a game in Telford against the league leaders.

"It's one of the few occasions we've been to Telford and dominated the game for two out of three periods. We got sloppy in the second and fell in to penalty trouble but finished the job in the final session. It was good to get a win over them as we have played well at times against them but not found a way to beat them before.

"We focused on being disciplined and sticking to our plan. We adapt our approach for different teams and rinks and the guys responded, adapted and showed versatility in two very different match ups. If they can keep that up, it bodes well for the remainder of the season.

"Netminder Dmitri Zimozdra played big for us, facing a lot of rubber over 120 minutes. He gave us a platform to win the games. He's battling through some knocks and niggles but he's one of many guys right now in that kind of situation and they're all just pulling together".

Sheffield player coach Ben Morgan.

Steeldogs have a lot of young players and the coach has been impressed by their contributions.

“Overall it's a very young team, there are a few older guys who are able to lead the way and advise and guide but it's a very young team that are learning the trade and getting better each week.

"Last weekend we saw goals from Alex Graham and Jack Brammer and there are other teenagers who have been important parts of this team, showing that if you give them the time, whether that's a regular spot or you trust them with opportunities then they will work hard and they will deliver. Our confidence in them has really been paid back in recent weeks and long may it continue."

Sunday sees the return to Sheffield of Steelers' legend Jason Hewitt, with Hull Pirates.

Morgan said: "I'm expecting the usual kind of game against Hull; heated, a lot of emotion between the fans which will transfer on to the ice.

"It's a one game weekend so we have to make sure we are fully focused and everything is done to prepare for it. It'll be a tough game, Hull are on a pretty good run as they've brought guys in and guys have returned from injury, so no bones about it will be a difficult game but an exciting one too. I'm confident we can win; we don't fear any team and on home ice we are on a really good run. We'll go all out for a win and another two points to move us up the table”.

Faceoff on Sunday is 4.30pm at iceSheffield.