Sheffield Steeldogs are satisfied they are maintaining their cup and league ambitions.
Playing the Solway Sharks home and away last weekend was always going to be a challenge; the Dumfries club had won all the trophies last season and have been the strongest of the old NIHL sides this year. Add in the travel time and the games counting as both league and cup, it was a stiff test of the team’s ambitions.
They won the first leg comprehensively; dominating the second period, scoring 4 unanswered goals on the way to a 6-2 victory.
Despite the snow falling north of the border, the Sharks made it to Sheffield on Sunday and came out ready to play. The visitors outshot the Dogs by 33 to 23 and were winning 2-1 going in to the final few minutes. Player/coach Ben Morgan sparked a comeback with a power play strike at 56:52 with James Spurr adding the game winner with 66 seconds left on the clock.
Forward Liam Charnock was clear on why the two performances were so different; “Saturday was possibly our best performance of the season, we did everything right and I think we went in to the next game thinking it would be the same but they were switched on and we struggled to get out of second gear. We rode our luck and Morgs came up with the goal that gave us the burst that got us over the line”.
It’s Charnock’s third year with the club and he’s enjoying the positive year after two seasons battling to compete; “It’s great! You can’t complain when you’re winning, we’re just going to keep on pushing forward.
The Telford game on Saturday is massive, so we try and keep pushing and realistically anything below first will be a disappointment the way we are playing at the moment. But it’s not going to be easy – we’ll keep on working hard and our fitness will keep us going through to the end”.
The Steeldogs play Telford on Saturday and then they will play the National Cup semi-final first leg on Friday February 2nd (both games start at 19:30).