The Steeler with character and grit

When Marco Vallerand scored his second goal in two minutes to give Steelers a healthy lead at Dundee Stars, many Sheffield fans would have visions of him leading their club to Play Off finals glory.

Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 11:08 am

Sadly, for both him and them, it was not to be. A 3-0 lead evaporated in Scotland and Stars qualified for this coming weekend's grand finals.

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But Vallerand's titanic efforts for the club, after coming back from a serious groin injury, must not be overlooked.

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Marco Vallerand.

They certainly weren't by his team-mates, who voted him as Players' Player of the Year for 2021-22.

Coach Aaron Fox was happy to hear who the dressing room had plumped for.

He told The Star: "Vally is one of the best players in the league, for the last two years.

"Before his injury there he was leading the league in goals and points per game, and he came back perhaps not 100 per cent to try and give us that push which I think says a lot about his character, and the guys really felt that."

Ryan Finnerty.

Team mate Vojtech Polak always savoured his moments on the ice with him.

The Czech centreman said: "I enjoyed playing with him, we had chemistry, we knew where each other was going. He deserved the award big time; he is a great guy and a great player."

Meanwhile, former Steelers player and coach Ryan Finnerty has stepped down as Head Coach of Manchester Storm.

As full-time General Manager, he will "focus his attentions on building the business side of the club."

Finnerty said: “I feel like this is the right time for me to step away from the bench – all coaches within any league have a shelf-life and it’s a decision that will better our wonderful club. It is the perfect time for somebody else to take up the reigns and negotiations for this position are already underway.

"The dual role of Head Coach and General Manager has been taxing, particularly in recent times, and I am confident in my decision to fully focus on expanding our off-ice positions. I feel strongly about our chances of accomplishing great things with a freshly built roster next season.”