Sheffield Steelers: Past in the past for Cole Shudra as he prepares to line up alongside long time foe Brendan Connolly

It is fair to say that Cole Shudra and Brendan Connolly didn't have much time for each other when they were on opposite sides of the ice.

By Bob Westerdale
Sunday, 04 August, 2019, 12:33
Cole Shudra in action. Picture: Dean Woolley.

The pair had skirmishes which led to suspensions and a nasty taste in the mouth.

But the Brit and the Canadian will be team-mates this year in Aaron Fox's almost-all-new Sheffield Steelers' team.

And whatever happened in the past will remain there, says Shudra, whose focus is only on team-success for Steelers.

Last November 14, Shudra - playing for Milton Keynes Lightning against Connolly's Glasgow Clan - sprang off the bench to pile into Connolly after the opponent had shoved and prodded his goaltender, with the puck out of play.

The young forward received a five game ban for 'Leaving the Players Bench and Fighting.'

Connolly, in turn, was banned for two games for provocation and incitement.

In the previous season, on January 31, 2018, Shudra was on the end of a check directly to his head from Connolly as he played for Steelers against Belfast Giants.

The Department for Player Safety reckoned "the potential for serious injury on this type of check is high" and said Connolly had shown "no regard for the puck."

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Connolly had to sit out the next two games.

Shudra is delighted he won't have to face him, other than in training.

"I think he is a great asset for us to have," he said.

"He is a goalscorer and likes to play with an edge which is is something we will need... a little bit of feistiness. I feel great about having him on our team."

Shudra added: "Hockey is one of those games, it is played on raw emotion, it is nothing personal I am sure.

"When we meet come training camp, I am sure we won't have a bad thing to say about each other."

The versatile skater said feistiness will be something the Sheffield team will have in abundance the coming campaign.

The players will stick up for themselves and be a tough team to play against.

He said returning winger Tanner Eberle - the top penalty minute taker - had been a "really good energy guy" last season for Sheffield.

*Champions Belfast have signed forwards Jean Dupuy and Bobby Farnham.