Sheffield Steelers: Praise for young and old as Steelers do weekend double over Nottingham

Aaron Fox has commended two of his veterans...and a young player at the beginning of his career at Sheffield Steelers.

By Bob Westerdale
Monday, 7th October 2019, 11:33 am
Updated Monday, 7th October 2019, 8:24 pm
John Armstrong and team-mates celebrate in the win over Nottingham
John Armstrong and team-mates celebrate in the win over Nottingham

Goaltender Frank Duba, 38, and centreman John Armstrong, 31, made significant contributions to last weekend's two wins over Nottingham Panthers.

As did converted defenceman Cole Shudra, 21.

Duba was unflappable in the penalty shoot-out which decided Sunday's game at Sheffield Arena, having made 28 saves, earlier that night.

The netminder had skated off the ice to give Steelers an extra man, allowing Armstrong to profit from Marc-Olivier Vallerand and Ben O'Connor's work to equalise, 3-3, with 72 seconds of normal time remaining.

Armstrong had got Steelers back in it at 55:20 with his first goal of the night.

Meanwile Shudra also scored a crucial goal - his first this season - with a low wrist shot from the left point, with his team trailing 0-2.

Shudra's goal was the highlight of a below-par middle period, their worst in recent games, according to Fox. The coach had felt his side were fortunate to be only a snigle goal down at the 40-minute break.

But Fox applauded the three Steelers for their part in the 4-3 win, which snapped a two-game home losing streak.

He said Armstrong had been one of his most consistent players and was chalking up a lot of ice time, on special teams as well as even-strengthen.

"I haven't been surprised with anything he's done, he has been a really effective player for us all year.

"Army got us going with a great short-handed goal and battled around the net to tie it up."

Duba, who had enjoyed a 96% save ratio in the 3-1 win at Nottingham on Saturday, had been "awesome.

"What a rock back there. He is one of the more efficient goalies I have ever seen, he doesn't do a lot of extra movement, he's square on pucks, guys like playing for him" said Fox.

As for Shudra: "Cole had a great weekend, actually, he played some really good hockey for us. He played a lot, he has looked good on the back-end."

*Fox confirmed that injuries to Aaron Johnson, Jonas Liwing and Aaron Brocklehurst meant that the club was still actively looking at the player market, despite the fact that they have gone over-budget so far, following the arrival of Marek Troncinsky.

The coach said he respected the ownership's position on finances and there would be discussions this week.

"We are always looking" he said. If we lose another guy...what kind of place do you want to put yourself in for the regular season?

"Is it a necessity, no. If the the right guy out there, then would we do something...maybe."