Sheffield Steelers coach's plan for goaltending over next fortnight

Aaron Fox intends to continue splitting the goaltending duties at Sheffield Steelers during the hectic fixture period ahead - but will have one eye on eventually selecting the clearest on-form netminder.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:21 pm

Barry Brust played his second full game for the club in Saturday's win over Nottingham Panthers.

Fox was more than happy with the way he controlled matters in and around his crease.

Rok Stojanovic was then recalled on Sunday and recorded a season-high goaltending save ratio of 97.67 percent.

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Sheffield Steelers' Rok Stojanovic under siege at Dundee. Picture: Derek Black

The coach commended him for "great goaltending."

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The Slovenian now seems likely to remain at the club for the season, competing with Brust, who has taken a while to get match-fit because of a long lay-off during the pandemic lockdown.

"I thought Barry played a really, really solid 60 (minutes)" said Fox, after the 4-3 win over Panthers.

Sheffield Steelers' Barry Brust enters the ice. Picture: Dean Woolley

The night had started badly when Martin Latdal turned over the puck inside the home blue line - so the first shot Brust faced went into the net.

And the second goal he conceded was deflected to the top shelf.

"I don't think he really had a chance on either of them.

"He shut the door from there on out, I thought he played really solid, managed the game very well with his stick when he had the opportunity to do well with a couple of nice breakout passes.

Sheffield Steelers' Rok Stojanovic in the heat of battle at Dundee. Picture: Derek Black

"I just feel like he will get more comfortable as things go on here and we will all see his substance."

After lay off, he got through Saturday night "without any issues whatsoever.”

"I think we have got seven games in 14 days so we will probably use a steady diet of both of these two moving forward here and then somewhere down the line here I will start running the hot goalie multiple nights in the row.

"He (Brust) has had some good weeks of practice. I didn't hate Barry's game last week (defeat to Guildford) to be fair we left him out to dry with four of those goals, maybe one or two he'd liked to have back, but it has been a long lay off and I fell like I am seeing a lot of positives.

What Aaron Fox said about Rok Stojanovic

As for Stojanovic, the team boss clarified: "Rok is not going anywhere. Rok has earned a job here with us, especially with the market the way it is these days, there are not many goalies on the market and you don't want to put yourself in a position down to the line to be thin in that position so I am very happy with the situation as is.

"We brought him in on a two-week trial with our option to keep him after that two weeks. When you do some recruiting you don't know exactly what you are getting, he came in and has played excellent hockey and he has warranted this opportunity to stay, that's how it is."

Sunday's win in Dundee was a fine defensive performance all-round, said the coach, although he says the players need to work on power play this week after failing to profit on a five-on-three. Sheffield are top of the EIHL table with eight points from five games.