Sheffield Steeler Justin Hodgman living up to fans' expectations

Justin Hodgman has made precisely the type of impact on Sheffield Steelers' game that the fans had been hoping for when the club signed him.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 10:45 am

In six games, he has registered seven points.

He buried a spectacular solo effort in the win at Guildford Flames and leads the team in the number of shots on goal in the League. He is tied with Marco Vallerand on the number of overall shots. He wins face-offs - something Steelers had needed to improve on.

But the centreman is not putting any pressure on himself to repeat last season's scoring feat for Hungarian team Ferencvárosi TC, where he amassed 40 points in 33 league games.

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While admitting, "it would be nice" to replicate that ratio, the Canadian would rather take each EIHL game at a time.

He said it was team points, rather than personal points, that was the crucial factor.

And so far that is working well, with Sheffield early pacesetters in the league, with six points from four games.

Hodgman is enjoying his new start. He says it has been easy to relocate to Sheffield, after a variety of different clubs over the past few years.

"I love it, it's great, I had a great vibe from the first day; guys made the transition easier, living together is awesome, everything is easily accessible.

"People outside the Arena have been great, the fans have been unbelievable, obviously it has been a dream start" said the player, whose team is currently top of the league.

Hodgman, who says he likes to "acknowledge the fans any time I get" has one main superstition before skating out on to the ice.

He revealed: "My left skate has to go on first. if I was to put my right skate on first, I would be all completely backwards. Other than that I am not all that superstitious."

Justin Hodgman on the puck.

Hodgman and his team-mates will take on Nottingham Panthers in the Challenge Cup on Saturday.

It is possible that Steelers will be two imports down for that game. Anthony DeLuca is suspended and it appears Tanner Eberle has yet to completely shrug off an injury.

Sheffield coach Aaron Fox would be pleased to see the east end rink at least as full as they were in last month's pre-season game, when 8,627 attended.

The team boss said: "Any time you play that team, usually, the crowd comes, it is important to us, it is a huge derby, they are 2+0 in the cup, so it should be an entertaining game."

Tanner Eberle: still out?

On Sunday they travel to Scotland for the first time, with a match at Dundee Stars.