Sheffield Steelers - another championship for Amy Usher

If Sheffield Steelers win the championship this weekend they will again dedicate it to the memory of fan Amy Usher.

Friday, 18th March 2016, 11:24 am
Updated Friday, 18th March 2016, 11:26 am
Amy Usher, right, with sister Beth

Amy, aged 22, from Wath, died a year ago today, from a rare type of throat cancer, plunging the club into mourning.

Yet the team responded two days later by winning the Elite League title and raised the trophy to the rafters in her name.

Winger Jason Hewitt says: “That was a year ago. Nothing changes.

“We want to go out there and win this for Amy and her family again.”

Saturday night sees Steelers take on Nottingham Panthers; hopefully stage-one of repeating the feat.

They are at Fife Flyers the following day.

Journalists in the "Amy Usher Media Room" at Sheffield Arena

While Panthers are visitors to Sheffield Arena on Saturday, they travel 24 hours later to Cardiff Devils, who are two points behind the league-leading South Yorkshire side.

So their performances will be critical to the overall outcome.

Coach Paul Thompson said: “You can bet they will come in all-guns-blazing. But the title is in our hands.

“There has been a nice feel about practice this week, the team knows it has to focus and win these last two games” said the coach.

Sheffield Steelers v Nottingham Panthers 16/01/16

“Having said that, if we win the title on Saturday, the team bus can go without me to Fife on Sunday - I’ll be having a few beers in Solihull instead!”

Thompson had been hoping that Colton Fretter would be challenging for a place this weekend.

But the barrel-chested forward - rated by Thompson as his most dynamic skater - is still suffering with pain, despite skating with the team in training.

The 34-year-old still has a chance of a Play Offs spot, but it’s more than likely Fretter’s season, maybe even his career, is over.

Journalists in the "Amy Usher Media Room" at Sheffield Arena

* Steelers won’t get to know who their Play Off opponents are until later this weekend.

Sheffield Steelers v Nottingham Panthers 16/01/16