Sheffield Steeldogs grab their share of the ice hockey limelight

Ben Morgan: by Peter Best Photography
Ben Morgan: by Peter Best Photography

Sheffield's two top ice hockey teams are on an upward trajectory after mixed starts to their season.

Steelers have started to climb the rankings, at last, and are showing confidence and team-spirit.

Meanwhile over at iceSheffield, Steeldogs find themselves in a strong position in all competitions. They are top of the league, two points off top spot in the North Cup (two games in hand) and are finalists in the Autumn Cup having beaten fierce rivals, Hull Pirates.

That victory was all the sweeter having overcome a one goal deficit (3-4) from the first leg to win the second 4-2. Netminder Dmitri Zimozdra turned away 24 shots in the third period in Hull as the Steeldogs held on to make the final.

Ben Morgan, in his second season as the Steeldogs player-coach, enjoyed the win; “Both the outcome and the overall team performance were up there with some of the best we’ve managed to achieve as a club over the past 18 months.

"We knew exactly what was required on the night and how we would try to execute our game plan in a difficult rink against exceptional opposition and with key players missing from our line-up. I couldn’t be any more proud of the boys for their efforts in reaching the NIHL Autumn Cup Final. We wait to see whether it’ll be Swindon or Peterborough that we play in the final.

"Whichever team it is, we will go all out to clinch the first trophy of the season.”

This weekend the Steeldogs have a tough road trip to Solihull before the Solway Sharks visit iceSheffield on Sunday (5.30.)

Morgan expects his team to keep on delivering.

He said: “It’s a split weekend so in Solihull we will move our attention back to the league campaign which, as reigning champions we are fully focused on emulating this season.

"Solway have a strong line-up this season and defeated Hull so we will need to be at our best to maintain our 100% record in the North Cup.

"If we qualify in a good position then it helps our chances of hopefully making another final, so getting these wins is important.”