Sheffield Steeldogs captain Lewis Bell on ‘probably the scariest thing ever to happen to me in hockey’
Sheffield Steeldogs captain Lewis Bell survived a very real reminder of the dangers that come with playing ice hockey.
Midway through last Sunday's game against Raiders, he took a slap shot to the face.
Bell dropped to the ice, the rink fell silent and the physios from both benches rushed to check on him. Incredibly he wasn’t down for long and was even back on his regular shift soon after.
He said: "It was probably the scariest thing to happen to me playing hockey. Anything hitting your face is pretty scary but when it’s a full blown slapshot from point blank, it’s very frightening.
"The main feeling straight after was of luck - with how bad it could have been, to come out with a couple of cuts compared to what the damage could have been, I definitely felt lucky.
“It was kind of a blur, it happened so quickly. The puck hit me before I knew it. I felt for blood and cuts but there was a lot less than I expected - I didn’t know it broke my visor until I opened my eyes.
The visor actually did most of the damage cutting me but it took the brunt of the blow and saved me. Skating away with just a couple of cuts and a bit of a bruise was a real result”.
A blow to the head was not the low point of last weekend, it was a loss to Hull that hurt the most.
“The overriding feeling was frustration that we’d given it away. Hull often dominate us but Saturday didn’t feel like that, more that we gifted it to them. There were positives to take from it, we looked the better team at times and I don’t see why we can’t be against Hull moving forward but it was a tough lesson on puck control against a very strong team.”
With a new visor on his helmet, Lewis is looking forward to Sunday when the Basingstoke Bison come to iceSheffield.
He said: "They have a similar line-up to last season and when we played them then, I noticed they were very disciplined and well coached and knew their systems inside out. They’ve got a solid spread of talent across the lines and two good imports who racked up the points last year.
"In Ashley Tait they’ve got a guy who is very experienced and knows a lot about hockey and I think that transfers to the team. I expect another tight affair, maybe quite physical as they had a few fights last weekend so it should be an exciting game.”
Steeldogs play Bison at iceSheffield on Sunday. Faceoff is 4:30.