Sheffield Steelers will have 20-year-old rookie Sam Gospel in the crease tonight after yet another goaltender after their latest injury crisis.
Import netminders Frank Doyle (hand) and Josh Unice (concussion) are missing from action and back-up Geoff Woolhouse played for nearly two hours last weekend with a groin injury.
The imports won’t be available tonight, for the mammoth task of overturning a 3-1 deficit in the second leg of the Challenge Cup semi-final at Nottingham Panthers.
And Woolhouse can barely walk, so he is a major doubt. Clubs can obtain special dispensation to bring in goalies and Sheffield have been looking for EU passport holders both in the UK and abroad.
Steelers went after Stevie Lyle, who played a couple of games for Steelers in 2004-5. The 35-year-old former Cardiff Devils backstopper is in his third season with EPL Swindon Wildcats.
He would have been an ideal emergency replacement for Woolhouse, whose stock has risen at the club for playing on in considerable pain.
But a move for him broke down this morning with the player.
Instead, Gospel, originally from Nottingham, agreed to appear in the crunch game.
Winger Jason Hewitt said of Woolhouse: “Seeing House go through what he did to play for us made everybody work harder in front of him, blocking shots and keeping forwards away. He was there for us, so we tried to be there for him.”
Coach Gerad Adams said he was pleased so many players ‘raised their games’ to protect Woolhouse’s crease.
The coaching staff were also proud of Mathieu Roy, who played last weekend with two painkilling injections to keep him going.
n Sheffield Steeldogs are cursing their luck after hitting the post NINE times in Sunday’s 3-1 loss at Milton Keynes. Coach Andre Payette said: “I think Lubomir Korhon hit five posts, Janis Ozolins hit four. The guys worked hard but without injured Steve Duncombe and Ben Morgan we were down two D and having to put a forward on D. We outshot them but just didn’t score the goals we needed. Score one goal and you’re not going to win. Dalibor Sedlar did a great job to keep us in it”. Dogs lost 3-2 at Basingstoke on Saturday.