Paul Thompson says his Steelers’ team must be in top shape if they are to neutralise the speed of Guildford Flames this weekend.
Sheffield must beat the Surrey side over Saturday and Sunday if they are to progress to the semi-finals of the Play Offs. And to do that they will have to try and smother the movement and pace of some of Flames’ stars.
“They have great speed and a lot of talent in players like John Dunbar (the League’s second-highest point scorer) said the coach. “They are fast, move the puck very well and will be on you unless you are careful.”
Flames’ playing squad, on average, is two years younger than Steelers.
They struggled early on in the season against Steelers, losing 7-1 and 7-3 before Canadian left wing Ian Watters banged in a hat-trick on February 11 in a 4-2 win.
A week later, the difference between the sides was wafer-thin, Steelers securing a 3-2 win with a late goal.
“There is no easy opposition but we didn’t want to face Belfast Giants in the quarter finals to avoid the travel arrangements we’d have had” said Thompson. “We’ll do everything we can to prepare for Guildford.”
Flames finished level on points with Manchester Storm in the Patton Conference and sixth in the EIHL standings.
Geoff Walker, who played 19 games for Steelers last season, has averaged a point a game since arriving at the Spectrum.