Sheffield Steelers: Jonathan Phillips backs Robert Dowd to break his EIHL appearance record

Jonathan Phillips hopes that one day his Sheffield Steelers team-mate Robert Dowd can overtake him by playing even more games than him in the EIHL.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 9:59 am
Updated Monday, 28th October 2019, 6:10 pm
Jeff Legue

Former Cardiff Devils forward Phillips recorded his 1,000th EIHL game last Saturday - a record-breaking achievement.

The captain has played 270 more (Steelers-only) games than Dowd.

But he is six years older, so his Great Britain team-mate - who scored two on Saturday and repeated the feat on Sunday - may one day go gunning for a similar landmark.Overall, Dowd has played 611 games in the EIHL with both Steelers and his previous team Belfast Giants and is hugely significant to Steelers, as a shooter.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Asked if Dowd could one day catch him up, Phillips said: "Hopefully so, hopefully he will have just as long a career.

“You would like to think so, he is such an important player on our team and has been for so many years it would be great to see him do that."

Dowd is on a seven goals in six games streak, and became even more crucial to the side after the injury to Marco Vallerand.

Meanwhile, Phillips described the tributes paid to him last weekend as "surreal and unexpected."

The skipper can recall his first game for Devils against the illustrious Team Canada touring side.

His memory was not as sound for his first Steelers v Cardiff game, nor could he remember details of his 500th appearance.

However he was certain about the best player he'd ever iced with: Jeff Legue.

He gave 'Leggy' that award just for "everything he did for the team, for many years, consistently. The biggest clutch player to ever to play in the League."

Robert Dowd celebrates

As for the best players he'd played against: he went for both Cardiff's five-year legend Joey Martin and Patrick Dwyer, who at Belfast last year, was "pretty unstoppable and very dominant."

As for the future, Phillips is open to learning more of the ice hockey craft.

"I am still enjoying working out and I enjoy trying to improve, I am trying to improve every single day, learning new things, it (retiring) is not in my mind yet."

He said his game had been built on skating and speed so: "Once that goes, I think I will know that the body is kind of going down!

Jonathan Phillips

"But for now I cannot see it slowing down yet."

He is adamant he is not a coach-in-the-making.

But he tipped his hat to former team boss Paul Heavey, who signed him up as a schoolboy, and Dave Matsos, who appointed him skipper.