Steeldogs aim to strike down Lightning

Sheffield Steeldogs v Telford Tigers game last Saturday 22.10.11 JANIS OZOLINS
Sheffield Steeldogs v Telford Tigers game last Saturday 22.10.11 JANIS OZOLINS

Lightning strikes ... and Kalcrest Sheffield Steeldogs are getting ready to rumble.

Andre Payette’s men face an on-the-road double-header, the first part of which takes in Milton Keynes and could give them a taster of what’s to come in Steeldogs’ bid for silverware.

They take on Lightning for the fourth time this season on Saturday before moving on to Telford for their fifth meeting with bottom of the table Tigers 24 hours later. Steeldogs head both series, 2-1 and 3-1 respectively.

There’s extra spice to the Milton Keynes visit as the teams face one another in next month’s Cup semi-final - at iceSheffield on Wednesday, February 8 with the away leg the following Thursday (February 16).

Steeldogs and MK have won their League games on home ice in this series, so Saturday’s clash will be doubly important as it could provide an indicator on how important this advantage is, as well as how both teams bounce back after disappointing defeats last weekend.

The young Sheffield side had a comfortable 6-1 home win over Bracknell Bees but went down 5-2 in a rough-and-tumble encounter at Peterborough Phantoms while Lightning squandered a great opportunity to move into pole position at the top of the league by failing to beat leaders, Guildford Flames and then Manchester, drawing a blank on both occasions.

Payette said: “We’ve had a great run of form and a good win against Bracknell but to be fair our young team got outworked by Peterborough who wanted the game more.

“A lot of my younger players stepped up to the plate in probably one of our roughest games of the season.

“Peterborough came out with a game plan of playing rough and I can’t wait for the next home game when we will see if they answer the bell in Sheffield.

“I can’t stand opposition taking liberties with my team and their next visit will be payback time.

“We’ve had a fantastic run of games and this was our first defeat since December 4.”

Goal ace Janis Ozolins received the Man of the Match award against Bracknell.

He bagged a double after Pavel Gomeniuk had put Steeldogs ahead and others came from Payette, Ashley Calvert and Greg Wood.

Payette and Steve Duncombe were on target in the bruising Peterborough clash in which Ben Bownes was named MOM.

Steeldogs will be back on home ice on Sunday, January 29. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and www.sheffieldsteeldogs.co.uk