Sheffield Steeldogs not counting any chickens ahead of Raiders battle

Sheffield Steeldogs may be favourites to win the Spring Cup but they are not taking any of their opponents lightly.

Saturday, 27th February 2021, 1:49 pm
Ben Lake has been around too long to take anybody lightly. Photo: Scott Wiggins

The iceSheffield outfit has scooped two wins from two and have back-to-back games this weekend with bottom club Raiders, who have lost their brace of matches.

Ben Lake, the Great Britain player recruited by coach Greg Wood during the EIHL lockdown, has been around too long to take anybody lightly.

He believes the biggest Spring Cup threat to Sheffield lies in the rosters of Telford Tigers and Swindon Wildcats.

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Ben Davies, GB winner, with Matlby's Liam Kirk. Photo: Den Woolley

"We haven't played Telford yet but they have signed a few Elite League guys" said the Belfast Giants-contracted forward.

"We've played Swindon already and in the (November) Streaming Series and had some closely-matched games, so I think they are both our biggest challenges; but you can't look past anyone."

Lake is well known for his stirring contributions to the Great Britain cause in the World Championships in May 2019, when the national side clung on to their top-flight status with a late, late win over France.

"That tournament was easily the best two weeks of my career," said Lake.

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"To be on the same ice as some of the best players in the world and competing with them was a lot of fun.

"To be in the dressing room, the halls, rubbing shoulders with guys like Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks) and Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres) it was pretty surreal" said the Steeldog.

"It felt very cool for the whole team, we showed we were not just happy to be there.

"In that final game we were down 3-0 so to end up winning that game was definitely the highlight of my career.

"I just remember being so tired coming off the ice...then the fans waiting out by the bus - it was great."

Lake paid tribute to Steeler and Steeldog team mate Jonathan Phillips, whose burst of speed down the left flank laid on the winning GB goal notched by Ben Davies, in Slovakia.

"Jona, despite his age, can fly out there, there was never any doubt he'd get to that puck, he can move pretty good and made a great play to the slot.

"He is a pretty impressive guy, obviously he takes care of his body and you can see he still has the fire for the game.

"That's the biggest thing, you need to enjoy yourself out there, credit to him being able to do this at this level. It is nice to be in the dressing room with him."

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