Sheffield Steelers: Champagne may go flat

Scott Champagne under pressure at Sheffield Steelers
Scott Champagne under pressure at Sheffield Steelers
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SCOTT CHAMPAGNE could be the player looking over his shoulder when all of Sheffield Steelers’ imports return to fitness.

The club will have to make one ‘healthy scratch’ from the roster when they have all their overseas players fit.

And with James Jorgensen playing regular shifts after recovering from an ankle break, and Steve Goertzen hoping for a return from shoulder problems, that decision is fast closing in on coach Ryan Finnerty.

Champagne could be the first name on Finnerty’s hit list. The Canadian forward signed effectively in a trade for Colin Shields, who took his spot at Belfast Giants.

Champagne has never been known as a big goalscorer; he’s more of a playmaker. But three goals from 17 League outings isn’t a stellar return from the 29-year-old Canadian, who has looked out of sorts at times.

Goertzen is rated 50-50 for the trip to Nottingham on Saturday and Shawn Limpright will be back after the midweek birth of his daughter. So a decision on Champagne’s selection must wait until the weekend.

Finnerty was pleased with his British contingent’s contribution to Wednesday’s win over Braehead Clan. He described goalscorer Lee Esders as “the best 10th forward in the League.”

Jonathan Phillips, who also netted, says his team-mates will be seeking ‘redemption’ in the remaining League game with Notts, and the two-legged Cup final.

Rod Sarich, who played on the wing against Clan, will be back on the blue line for Saturday and Sunday’s trip to Cardiff.