Rob Dowd has cleared Nottingham Panthers defenceman Tuukka Makela of any malicious intent over the injury sustained by the Sheffield Steelers’ forward.
Makela was banned for two matches following a discipline review requested by Sheffield.
The Finn was suspended by the League “because of the distance Makela travelled before hitting the player in a vulnerable position.”
But Dowd harbours no hard feeling and is putting the issue behind him, as he tries to shake off a groggy head before tomorrow’s home match with second-placed Dundee.
“To be honest I don’t really remember it happening but he’s not a dirty player, so I don’t think he meant to injure me. I think he just tried to make a hit and timed it wrong.
“I am a little beaten and bruised but I’ll survive. My helmet broke when my head hit the boards, so I think a new one is in order!”
Dowd, Steelers’ best player over the last month, says his fitness will be assessed before tomorrow’s match.
Speaking of the team’s inconsistent results, he said: “To be honest I have no idea about that - we seem to be having mental lapses.
“We seem to dominate games and then have a few minutes of madness and give up goals.”
The side is clearly missing sniper Stefan Meyer too.
He was a consistent scoring threat until he was injured four games ago.
“Stef is a great player and has a great knack of finding the back of the net. He’s very strong on his feet and once he has the puck in the opponents’ end teams really struggle to take it off him. Stef is a key piece to the Steelers puzzle and it’s going to make a great difference having him back in the line-up.”
n Jeff Legue needs four points for 500 career points in all EIHL competitions (will be only the fifth player to reach that target.)
n Frank Doyle has clocked up more moments in goal than any other Elite League goalie, so far. With second-string Geoff Woolhouse injured, he has served 1,434 minutes in 24 games.