Sheffield Steelers’ ace admits more firepower will be vital next season

Robert Dowd will welcome extra scoring competition within his own Sheffield Steelers’ ranks when the new domestic season faces off.

By Bob Westerdale
Wednesday, 15 May, 2019, 23:00

The winger, currently on World Championship duty with Great Britain in Slovakia, was top club goal scorer with 24 strikes last season, despite missing much of the campaign with injury.

Not many other skaters got anywhere near his and Josh Pitt's totals (the import managed 22.)

Offensively, the team disappointed through most of the season.

But close-season signing Marc-Olivier Vallerand will hopefully be vying with Dowd and others in terms of goal statistics.

"We need goals spread across the board, I have no idea who we have got coming in but I imagine we have got a lot of top-end guys coming in that are going to score a lot of goals and play a lot of exciting hockey," said Dowd.

Vallerand was a "very skilled player” he added.

Josh Pitt scores penalty shot

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“He played at Coventry a couple of years ago, scored a lot of goals and got a lot of points so obviously that's another addition of a guy that is going to play offensive hockey and I look forward to getting in there with him" he added.

As for his own goal output after an injury-blighted 2018-19, he said: "It was frustrating getting hurt the way I did. I look forward to a full season at full strength and see what can happen.”

Dowd has a new two-year contract at Steelers - something which gives him some earnings protection in a volatile industry.

"Sheffield is my home and I want it to be my home forever, to be honest," he said.

Robert Dowd, acrobat

"It is nice not to be sitting on a one-year deal wondering what is happening next year."

The forward said he was excited about working with new coach Aaron Fox, next year.

He said a lot of Elite League teams were making Summer changes in personnel but he hoped Fox can put a winning side together.