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Plucky Steelers continue to defy the odds

John DeCaro is all smiles

John DeCaro is all smiles

When it mattered, when it counted, the Sheffield Steelers found a way.

Showed each and everyone of us what they had in their locker. Showed us all what could be expected.

Last Wednesday, they beat Dundee 7-0 to progress to the semi final of the Challenge Cup (after being 4-2 down after the first leg).

And then on Sunday, with elimination from the league title race on the line, they convincingly beat Nottingham Panthers 5-2. It wasn’t just the results, it was the way the team played on both nights.

The conviction, their willingness to work for each other, give little up defensively and then punish when the offensive chances fell.

They were criticised on some circles for bullying Dundee, but you use the strengths of your team.

Chris Frank intimidated, so did Fate and Goertzen. If that’s how the Steelers have to play then so be it.

Coventry might have the biggest dog on the porch in Benn Olson but the Steelers have a team toughness and a rack of Rottweilers ready and waiting to pounce if needed.

Give John DeCaro credit, too. Under attack following the off-ice incident in Dundee, big John bounced back with outstanding displays against the Stars, Clan and Panthers.

Head coach Ryan Finnerty described DeCaro as the team’s best player, and in recent weeks he has shown he could well be.

Legue came to play against the Panthers; every time he was on the puck he looked dangerous. He had teams backing in, and he had the crowd on the edge of their seats.

When Legue gets going the arena takes a gasp. His two goals led the way for Sheffield last Sunday.

By the time you read this I will be in Latvia watching and commentating on GB vs Latvia and France and Kazahkstan in the final round of the Olympic pre-qualification tournament.

It might be a small chance, but its a chance for Team GB to make it through to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Steelers have Ashley Tait, Jonathan Phillips, Rod Sarich, Mark Thomas, Danny Meyers and Jason Hewitt waving the flag.

All of the Steelers guys are experienced players, and more than capable players in difficult situations.

It’s been a while though since any GB side has faced three such difficult games.

My view is that, if GB came come back with any points it will be a massive leap forward, and a huge boost ahead of the World Championships at the end of the season.

The other big news is that the national media have found ice hockey. Here in Sheffield we are blessed with the likes of our newspapers.

Now though it has taken another big step, as ESPN will show the three GB games.

If GB can deliver here then at least the Country’s press will be there to see it, report it and show it to you.

 

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