Sheffield Steelers hope for goal rush at Manchester Storm after offensive hiccup last weekend

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Who will score the goals Sheffield will desperately need as they head into the season's final straight?

Brandon Whistle emerged as the only scorer in Sheffield regulation play over 120 minutes last weekend.

Skipper Jonathan Phillips had previously admitted that the team needs to put more shots and general pressure on the opposition net and coach Aaron Fox has tinkered with his formations to try and get their juices flowing again.

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Sunday saw the Marco Vallerand-Brendan Connolly-Martin Latal line altered with Latal going on the top line with Brett Neumann and Scott Allen.

Robert Dowd, top goalscorer for Steelers, picture: Dean WoolleyRobert Dowd, top goalscorer for Steelers, picture: Dean Woolley
Robert Dowd, top goalscorer for Steelers, picture: Dean Woolley

Top goal scorer Robert Dowd taking Latal's place.

That aim, to ignite more offence, should be boosted on Wednesday when leading points man Daniel Ciampini is due to return from illness.

Fox said Steelers miss the depth that they had previously enjoyed when the 32-year-old Canadian winger was available.

"He is great on the power play, good on the penalty kill, he is an all-round very, very good player.

"Any time he is out of your line-up, you miss him.

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"We had that same situation when we lost Scotty Allen earlier in the year, he is a key component to one of our top lines, and any time (he's out) you have got to switch that up."

Ciampini is the club's overall goals and assists scorer with 21+33 yet ironically he has only found the net once in his last nine appearances.

Allen has two strikes in the same number of games and Neumann two in eight. Dowd is looking for his first goal after seven games without. Danny Kristo has one goal in six outings.

Vallerand has done well on the road since his return to Sheffield, netting three times.

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Steelers fans will be hoping he'll do the same again on Wednesday, in his first trip to Manchester Storm this season.

If Steelers lose and Cardiff Devils beat Glasgow Clan on the same night, the Welsh will vault over Fox's men into third spot in the EIHL.

Seventh-placed Storm have plenty of motivation, they are looking to further cement their playoff aspirations.

Their former Steelers' marksman Anthony DeLuca is the division's fourth top scorer with 22 goals in 33 matches.

DeLuca is behind only Cole Sanford of Cardiff, Scott Conway of Belfast Giants, and Daniel Tedescoof Guildford Flames, in league goals.