'Pretty please - can we keep Liam Kirk in Sheffield? - Steeldogs request after loan player's goalscoring exploits

If confirmation was needed that Liam Kirk is on course in his mission to reach the highest levels in ice hockey, last weekend provided some pretty compelling evidence.

Monday, 15th February 2021, 12:00 pm

The 21-year-old Maltby forward scored four goals for Sheffield Steeldogs at Swindon Wildcats (5-4 win on Saturday) and added another on Sunday in a 4-2 victory over the same opponents.

Sunday's other goals had a Steeler feel about them with Ben O'Connor, Jason Hewitt and Alex Graham on the scoresheet.

But it was GB forward Kirk's contribution on Saturday which prompted Steeldogs to make a tongue-in-cheek request to Canadian club Petereborough Petes, who have allowed him to play in the UK whilst their league closed due to the coronavirus lockdown.

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Dogs wrote to the Petes on Twitter: 'Do you think you can cope without @kirky_1424 until April? We promise to look after him really well...#prettyplease.'

As The Star reported last week, Rob Wilson's junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League plan to lasso their asset back, the moment they get the go-ahead for their own re-opening.

Until that time comes, Dogs are certainly enjoying Kirk's first contribution for their squad since he was a part of it in 2017.

Liam Kirk, pic by Dean Woolley

Overall Steeldogs coach Greg Wood was happy with the two wins, but has spotted areas where his side can improve in the Spring Cup tournament, set up with the approval of the Government.

“You can never grumble when you get two wins out of two. We were perhaps a bit sloppy, at times, that was all.

"We talked about having a big start and overwhelming teams, which I thought we did really well on Sunday, but once we did that, I felt we kind of took our foot off the gas a little bit.

“We’re still a relatively new team playing together, so it will be nice to get a couple of weeks straight training under our belts now and then on to the next group of games against Raiders."

Cole Shudra, pic by Steve Gunn

Steelers' personnel past and present are popping up all over the place.

Sam Jones, Cole Shudra and Kieran Brown have been snapped up by Telford Tigers, whose Head Coach and General Manager Tom Watkins can scarcely believe his luck.

"All three players have a huge amount of talent," he said.

"Offensively, the addition of Kieran Brown adds scoring punch. He’s an explosive player who has an excellent scoring touch.

"Cole comes with the ability to play as a forward or in defense which is great from my point of view but we will be utilising him on the D core. Most recently he was playing in Sweden which will have exposed him to a different style of game over there and this will be great for his long term development.

"In Cole, I think we are going to get a very solid D man at both ends of the rink.

"Sam joins us in preparation for what will hopefully be a successful run at the Great Britain squad for the World Championships. He’s a player who skates exceptionally well, has great poise and control on the puck and for a D man will put up numbers. We’re grateful for the support of the Sheffield Steelers in making this signing possible."

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