Sheffield Steelers aim to wreck Tait’s return

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Ashley Tait will be warmly welcomed back to Sheffield Arena tonight - but the emphasis will then be on closing him and his line down.

Tait moved from Sheffield Steelers back to Coventry Blaze in the Summer and immediately struck up a profitable partnership with Ryan Ginand and Adam Henrich.

Ashley Tait, right, a great ice hockey servant

Ashley Tait, right, a great ice hockey servant

The trio have amassed 76 points - accounting for more than half of the team’s scoring.

Jason Hewitt, a buddy of Tait’s, knows Steelers must shut down their offence if they are to chalk up their first Arena win in four attempts.

He said on video at thestar.co.uk: “Ginand is a stand out player, a good skater and good hands. Hendrich has good skill, a big body and obviously Ash... everybody in Sheffield knows about him; good skill, a wily old vet, really.”

American-born Ginand netted his second hat trick of the season against league leaders Dundee at the weekend.

But Hewitt hopes his own line with Steve Goertzen and Stefan Meyer will come up trumps.

Meyer is the club’s leading point scorer with 6+6.

Hewitt described the Canadian former Florida Panthers forward as “very patient on the puck; he looks to create a lot down low and is a strong skater when he has got the puck. Guys have their work cut out to get the puck back and it shown in his points already. A good player and one to watch.”

Hewitt said both players had iced at “the highest level” - Goertzen has played for three NHL teams.

“For me it’s easy get the puck to them, I go to the dirty areas and get the puck and hopefully the guys that are creative can put some goals away.”

Steelers need to find more goals and in Jeff Legue’s case, he needs to find more assists...curiously, he has just one from nine games.

Defenceman Chad Langlais is expected to have recovered from injury and will make his Arena debut.

* Sheffield Steeldogs have two games on the road, this weekend, at Swindon and Bracknell.