Sheffield Steelers v Belfast Giants - or Mathieu Roy v Michael Forney!

Flashback: Michael Forney scores for Steelers against Giants. Pic by Dean Woolley
Flashback: Michael Forney scores for Steelers against Giants. Pic by Dean Woolley

They are two deadly linemates who used to combine their skills to lay waste to opposition defences.

But Sheffield Steelers’ Mathieu Roy and Belfast Giants’ Michael Forney will be up against each other at the House of Steel on Sunday.

Last season, Steelers seemed to fit a muzzle on their former star, in all he scored 20 goals for the Northern Irish, compared to the 33 the year before for Sheffield.

But Forney, 28, has set off like a rocket this season; he is Belfast’s top scorer with six goals and three assists in eight games.

That, however, falls well short of Roy’s haul - eight goals and six assists in one game fewer.

Steelers don’t like to directly compare the two. But there is no doubt they’re happy to have hung on to Roy, 29, a central influence on the squad since 2014.

“We wouldn’t trade Mathieu for any player in the league, whether it is Michael, Joey Martin at Cardiff Devils or Stephen Schultz at Nottingham Panthers” said club

official Dave Simms.

“He is the next Steeler gladiator, in the footsteps of Ken Priestlay, Scott Allison and Jeff Legue.

“Mathieu is on their level. If he was a footballer he would score goals against Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as Crystal Palace and Burnley.

“If you need to win a title at Nottingham or Fife, he is your man.

“Michael is a very dangerous player, a real sharpshooter whom we really respect, and one we will have to pay attention to, we need to keep him off the scoresheet as we did last year.

“But I’m not sure he is Giants’s top shot-blocker as Mathieu is for us, every season. There is something special about him” said Simms.

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