The man keeping Sheffield Steelers in the hunt for silverware

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The fact that Steelers remain in contention for the EIHL title owes more to this player than any other.

And just when you think Matt Greenfield cannot do any better between the pipes, he confounds you with back-to-back clean sheets to keep championship hopes alive.

With Sheffield's forwards having trouble finding the net, last weekend, the goalie came up with consecutive shut outs in 1-0 wins home and away against Fife Flyers. He stopped 53 net-bound shots.

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The double wins mean Steelers are now four points behind leaders Belfast Giants, but with two games in hand.

Matt Greenfield, so often Steelers' man of the match Pic Dean WoolleyMatt Greenfield, so often Steelers' man of the match Pic Dean Woolley
Matt Greenfield, so often Steelers' man of the match Pic Dean Woolley

And you wouldn't bet against winning those matches given the netminder's awe-inspiring form.

Greenfield, doubtless a contender to sweep most of the club's player awards come the end of the season, has shut out Fife four times this season.

He has also blanked Glasgow Clan, Dundee Stars, Belfast Giants and Manchester Storm, whom Sheffield play on Wednesday.

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But the 28-year-old from Broward County, Florida, defers to the skaters in front of him when it comes to handing out the praise.

"I think we do an awesome job defending and the guys make my life as easy as they can" he said. "Everyone is working hard trying their best.

"Sometimes guys make mistakes but that's hockey, it is kind of a game of mistakes and when we don't execute (offensively) I know it is not from a lack of effort

"Everybody is doing their best and trying to contribute and help the team as best they can."

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The season, he said, was "54 games plus Challenge Cup - it is a long season, it is a grind" adding the team had not always played to the level they'd expect of themselves. He said they would work hard to get out of it.

They had to "dig deep and try and make it happen." League statistics certainly suggest Sheffield have the meanest defence in the Elite division.

They have conceded 85 goals in 40 regular season games, with Belfast behind them with 94.

Sheffield are joint second with Cardiff Devils in goals-scored.Sunday's shoot-out was truly nail-biting stuff. Danny Kristo and Dillon Lawrence both scored in the second round for Sheffield and Fife, but Marc-Olivier Vallerand's expert finish in the fourth was enough to win it for Sheffield.

Meanwhile, Cardiff's Swinton-born goalie Ben Bowns went one better than Greenfield - he scored an empty netter in the 4-1 win at Dundee Stars.