Sheffield Steelers star makes vow after jetting home to see new baby daughter

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Sébastien Piché says he will pay back the Sheffield Steelers' management for allowing him the opportunity to be at his partner's side after the birth of their daughter.

The French Canadian, 34, was allowed time to fly back to their home in Prague to be with her and their newborn daughter, Stefania.

Piché, who missed three EIHL games, said it had previously been agreed with the club that he would get leave to join new mum Medina.

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They hadn't set any agreed number of days of absence but he said: "The club was really nice to let me spend time and miss some games.

"It is really appreciated - on my part now I just have to play good for them and just give back what they give me."

Before the birth, he said the club trainer Mike Mawer had been on duty watching for any phone contact from his wife.

"For the last two weeks, I was asking him: 'Did she call?" But he had managed to focus on his job during game time, he said.

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Piché had a memorable game on his return, a 7-3 victory over Nottingham Panthers, last Saturday.

Sébastien Piché was give time off to be at the brth of his baby daughter. Picture: Dean WoolleySébastien Piché was give time off to be at the brth of his baby daughter. Picture: Dean Woolley
Sébastien Piché was give time off to be at the brth of his baby daughter. Picture: Dean Woolley

On Sunday, he scored Steelers' 3-3 tying goal before his side went on to win.

Looking back to Saturday, the home fans watched his 25th-minute shot deflected home, and then he was seemingly wrongly awarded a kneeing penalty for a hit on David Levin.

"You cannot score from there if there's no traffic, so credit to the guys in front for us."

The hit was a clean one, he said.

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He said everybody can make mistakes - and the referee had made one in penalising him.

Piché has won the Kelly Cup, EBEL, and Slovenian Championships in his career and wants more silverware in his debut campaign in the EIHL.

"That is the main thing I came for, nothing short of it.

"We are here to win every title we can win, it is not changing from the first day that I agree to come here."

He said in initial talks with his agent he'd stressed he "wasn't getting any younger" and wanted to win and enjoy his hockey.

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Piché, who played around 400 games in the EBEL, says team-mate Sam Jones, 24, is developing well at Sheffield.

"It is good to see him coming out of his shell. He still needs to improve like everybody else.

"Nobody is perfect but he is going in the right direction and it is looking good for his future."

It was up to Jones what he specifically wanted to improve and what type of defenceman he wanted to be, said Piché.

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He said experience would be crucial in a position that had a lot of pressure as if you make one mistake you have to rely on your goalie.

It was easier to see mistakes from defenceman than forwards.

"You have to play with composure and every game you can see he is growing, it is good for him."