Second Sheffield Steelers player reveals he contracted Covid-19

Adrian Saxrud-Danielsen has had to overcome some crushing blows and personal challenges over the last few months - including being infected by Covid-19.

By Bob Westerdale
Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 11:04 am

The Norwegian international picked up a knee injury, then suffered from the coronavirus, returned to good health to see his Austrian team lose in the early play off rounds, before his new Sheffield Steelers side were beaten in the EIHL series Finals.

That's quite a series of reverses.

Added to that, he had hoped to bag a place in his national side to play in the World Championships.

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But just before the Nottingham finals, he received word he had not been selected after all - a crushing personal disappointment.

"I was expecting at least to go to the camp and show myself. I didn’t get that chance, so I am really disappointed," Saxrud-Danielsen told The Star.

His omission was a surprise to his Sheffield teammates, too.

The defenceman finished the tournament as the EIHL's best plus-minus statistic performer.

Crunch time: Saxrud-Danielsen lays it on. Pic: Mark Ferriss

Sheffield forward Matt Myers said: "Saxy had made the cut and then got told a couple of days before the end of the season that he wasn't going and they were taking another Norwegian guy from Coventry Blaze, I believe.

"It was disappointing because he really was good.

"I don't know much about the strength of Norwegian hockey but I was very shocked when I was told he was no longer going."

Saxrud-Danielsen, at least, can look back at the majority of the mini series with many fond memories.

Saxrud-Danielsen: Pic: Dean Woolley

It was the first time he had played for an English team.

He said: "I really did not know what to expect, although I knew the guys were eager to play again and the fans have really missed hockey over the last year.

"I heard before I signed that the League had worked really hard to make this happen. The whole Series was very professional in every way, from both the EIHL side and the club's side. Everything from the testing, practices, meals, apartments, cars, physio, equipment and coaches."

Steelers lost in the final to Nottingham Panthers.

"Obviously, that was not the result we wanted and what so many had worked for" he said.

"We should've won is my view, looking back. It still stings, and it should still sting for a while."

Saxrud-Danielsen revealed he had contracted Covid-19 last year.

Then, he was playing for HC Innsbruck in Austria.

He said his team failed to make the quarter finals of the play offs so that freed him to move to Sheffield.

The skater said it had been a remarkable season, not all for the right reasons.

"I had Covid before Christmas following a knee injury that set me back from playing at my top level.

"So when this chance (Sheffield) came up and I could come over and prove myself again, when I was 100% fit, it was a chance I couldn't pass on."

Steeler Brendan Connnoly also played in the mini series after recovering from Covid. He contracted it in America.

The EIHL says there were no confirmed cases of the virus over the course of the 2021 Elite Series.