Special K hopes to move up the line formations at Sheffield Steelers

Kameron Kielly's competitive debut for Sheffield was hopefully just the start of a mutually-rewarding career with the EIHL club.
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A late arrival in Steelers' camp, the 26-year-old Canadian had to watch from the stands as Steelers played out their opening matches.

With fellow-import Mark Simpson out injured, Kielly grabbed his chance in the Challenge Cup mauling of Manchester Storm on Wednesday.

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"I have been ready for the opportunity, I felt good, I was able to get a couple of extra weeks of practice under my belt so coming off an injury last season felt good" said Kielly.

Kameron Kielly faces off,  pic Dean WoolleyKameron Kielly faces off,  pic Dean Woolley
Kameron Kielly faces off, pic Dean Woolley

The fans were "electric" and it had been a big win, he added.

"As a competitor and a player you want to be in the line-up, the boys are rolling so you want to contribute and help the team whenever you can."

Kielly said he'd used the time out of the match-day squad by physically building himself up.

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It was his ambition to graduate from the fourth line and go higher up the Steelers' line structure, he added.

Kameron Kielly pic Dean WoolleyKameron Kielly pic Dean Woolley
Kameron Kielly pic Dean Woolley

The centre, from the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, described Steelers as a deep team and said they showed that by wearing Manchester down in the 6-1 Arena win, which featured a 5-0 final period.

Kielly had a decent club debut in the game, according to coach Aaron Fox.

"For a guy that has been out as long as he has, especially last year after the injury, coming in to a team that is playing well, I thought he was very solid and made good plays throughout the hockey game."

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Simpson is likely to be available this weekend, so it remains to be seen if Kielly will be in an orange shirt in the away Cup leg against Manchester on Saturday (Steelers are top of their group) or Sunday's more important league meeting with Dundee Stars.

Asked whether he'd be disappointed if he was to be scratched, he replied diplomatically: "That is not really up to me. Obviously, I want to be in the line-up and help the team in any way I can."

Kielly, who played just 23 times for ECHL sides Atlanta Gladiators and Toledo Walleye last season, won five of his seven face-offs and had four shots against Storm in his 10 minutes and 20 seconds on the pad.

While Simpson will likely be back in contention this weekend, Brandon Whistle still has a way to go until he is ready for action.

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Meanwhile, Robert Dowd will be hoping to continue his hot sequence.

His goal on Wednesday was his sixth in five games.

Coach Aaron Fox said his skipper often scored goals in bunches adding: "I'd like to see that continue all year if I'm honest!

"He has been outstanding, he has taken on an additional role in the captaincy, he is a passion player."

Linemate Marco Vallerand has done well with assists too, he's had eight in six games.