Frank Doyle puts his double penalty-shot save heroics down to increased preparation on training ice.
The Sheffield Steelers’ netminder turned into the game-breaker last weekend by denying two Belfast Giants who had been awarded a free skate at him. It was a defining moment - and possibly a hint of what is to come as the season progresses.
Doyle said: Earlier this year we had a shoot out against Braehead Clan and I didn’t like the way it turned out for me - I wasn’t being patient. We have been working on it a ton in the past few weeks, doing shoot-outs every day, just trying to be more patient and it worked out.”
Doyle said he saw his saves as a reward for the work of the Steeler skaters around him.
“I wanted to come up with a big save for the guys. They were playing great in front of me, blocking shots, and on the penalty kill. When you see that you just hope for the best!”
Doyle singled out Tim Spencer and Steve Goertzen as valued allies in the mission to protect the goal.
“They have done a great job helping the defence out. The four ‘D’ that we have had have done a phenomenal job, when guys get hurt you need others to step up and they have done.”
Doyle is pleased that the club’s two newest imports, Rob Sirianni and Nate DiCasmirro have signed for Sheffield - rather than anybody else in the league. “I have played against in the last few years and I have seen enough of them, on the opposing side, so, it is nice to have them on my side and I can see them scoring down at the other end.
“They have been a huge boost to us, veteran guys who know how to get the job done.”
Steelers host Fife Flyers at iceSheffield on Saturday before setting off for Coventry Blaze, where they won in the first match of the season.
Asked which was the stiffest challenge, Doyle replied: “Every team seems to be good, last Saturday night in Fife, they played really well and we were lucky to come out with the points, they played really hard, and so you have to take every game really seriously.”