Sheffield Steelers coach ponders different strategy for Nottingham Panthers’ semi final

Tim Wallace may get a spot - but nothing is clear yet. Pic: Dean Woolley
Tim Wallace may get a spot - but nothing is clear yet. Pic: Dean Woolley
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Paul Thompson will tweak his side’s strategies as he plots the downfall of Nottingham Panthers on their own ice in Saturday’s semi final Play Off match.

His team beat Guildford Flames over two legs in the quarter finals, but he expects a different set of priorities at the NIC.

“We need a different tactics against a four line team than we employed against Guildford’s three lines” the coach said.

“We won’t have Liam Kirk (GB Under 18 duties) so we are a forward down from the roster but we will look to make adjustments to suit the demands.

“Maybe we will have to bring in a centre on the fourth line.”

Thompson insisted he had not made his mind up on which two imports will sit out the knock-out game - one that will help define the entire season, one way or another.

But his last statement perhaps leaves the door open for Tim Wallace, who lost out last weekend, along with Matt Marquardt, who plays on the wing. Wallace has only scored seven goals in 71 appearances in domestic and European competition but is dependable defensively and could anchor the fourth line, if called upon Last weekend, Thompson opted to play forwards Andreas Jamtin and Mathieu Roy, both of whom had not trained a great deal after trips abroad.

The coach said Jamtin had appeared tired on Sunday in the second leg in Surrey but he thinks he will be better conditioned for the Panthers’ clash, after a weekend of training and preparation.

As for Roy, he said: “I thought he played hard last weekend, he was a good foil for John Armstrong, who scored some wonder goals for us and showed us what we have been missing for much of the season.”

n Panthers’ coach Corey Neilson will leave the club after the season is over - so Saturday could be his last game.

* FACTSPOT: Steelers’ Mark Matheson, John Armstrong and Colton Fretter are among the top four point scorers in the Play Offs so far along with Manchester Storm’s Mike Hammond.

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