The ice hockey teen who became Britain's most thrilling talent

Liam Kirk skates into this coming weekend's EIHL tournament having confirmed his credentials as Britain's most exciting, young ice hockey talent.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 10:43 am

The 21-year-old Maltby forward banged in three goals in Sheffield Steeldogs' final game of the NIHL Spring Cup which meant in 12 games he chalked up a fabulous 21 goals and 11 assists for 32 points.

That was six points ahead of Dogs' teammate Ben O'Connor.

The duo were first and second in the Cup competition's overall top point scorers, followed by Sheffield's Jason Hewitt, Jonathan Phillips and Alex Graham.

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In their final game of the tournament, on Sunday, Dogs beat Swindon Wildcats 5-4, Hewitt and Graham joining the unstoppable Kirk on the score sheet to ensure Greg Wood's side achieved a clean sweep of 100 per cent wins.

Kirk, of course, scored the winner.

Steeldogs' co-owner Roger Williams reflected on some tremendous team and individual displays over the past few weeks but had to single out the Great Britain player.

"There have been lots of great performances but to see Liam Kirk return to the Steeldogs and dominate was such a treat" said Williams.

He said the most memorable moment was the March 13 (4-3) road win over nearest rivals Telford Tigers, in which Phillips clinched the points with four minutes on the clock.

"It was a high-paced, quality game but the guys found what was needed to win the battle of the unbeaten teams - which set up the run in" recalled Williams.

"I think the tournament has been great in increasing awareness of the Steeldogs to more Sheffield fans but also there are more Elite League players who have seen how we combine a 'professional approach' but in an intimate club, to quote (GB goaltender) Ben Bowns.

"We have done so much to move the club forward in recent years and this will help with a wider audience."

The ice hockey teen who became Britain's most thrilling talent.

Former Steelers' assistant coach Jerry Andersson has added his support to suggestions of a closer bond and movement of players between Steelers and Steeldogs.

"The best, most effective way to develop British players is for big clubs to take responsibility for bringing knowledge down to lower divisions and younger ones" he said.

Liam Kirk in his earlier Steeler days. Pic: Steve Gunn