The most miserable player at Sheffield Steelers on Sunday, after the two weekend games had ended in defeat, was not on the ice, or even on the bench.
Sat in the stands, with a leg swathed in support bandages, was Max Lacroix, the club’s most impressive forward so far, until what appears to have been a broken foot wrecked his maiden season. With so many other negatives conspiring against coach Doug Christiansen, a potential season-wrecking injury to his star was the last thing he needed.
The Star broke news of the seriousness of Lacroix’s injury to Christiansen after the loss to Braehead Clan. The coach said on video at thestar.co.uk: “I am incredibly sorry to hear that for him personally and very sorry from a hockey club point of view but we have to have a mentality of the next man in. People have to step in but he’s clearly been our leading offensive player and no doubt we are going to miss him.”
The coach said he would be taking to owner Tony Smith about replacements saying: “We have to look at all of our options.”
Christiansen said others had stepped up to the plate in Lacroix’s absence, caused by a check at Nottingham on Saturday. He identified Rob Dowd and Rylan Galiardi as two players who had not played as well as he’d hoped until impressive performances on Sunday. Asked about the new defensive propramme at the club, in the light of 11 conceded goals, the coach said all systems were being re-evaluated.
* Sheffield Steeldogs were in two tight games. They beat Peterborough Phantoms 4-3 but dropped 7-6 to Guildford Flames.
Coach Andre Payette said: “At Guildford we put in a real good team effort and had young Brad Day in net from the Sheffield Spartans as cover for our starter Dalibor Sedlar who was out injured.
“Brad who is only 19 years old faced 49 shots and was man of match.
“As a team we had six different goal scorers and were tied with Guildford going into last minute: Josef Kohut scored at 5903 to complete his hat trick and win the game for Guildford.”