`

History is made by Sheffield Steelers’ goalie

Ervins Mustukovs keeps Nottingham at bay
Ervins Mustukovs keeps Nottingham at bay

Nobody likes talking about shut-outs - until they have just happened.

It’s considered bad luck in ice hockey to mention them during a game.

Ervins Mustukovs, though, hasn’t needed much luck in his three clean-sheets.

His own stellar performances allied to stout team-defending ahead of him has done the trick.

Mustukovs broke the hearts of Nottingham Panthers (twice) and Braehead Clan, in a brilliant five-day spell.

He has now overtaken Rob Dopson, who previously held the club record for clean sheets.

Dopson kept rival forwards out for 234 minutes and 17 seconds, while the Latvian has gone 241 mins 28 secs without being outwitted. (steelersstats.co.uk)

Whisper this thought only: could he do it again, against Manchester Storm this weekend?

Captain Jonathan Phillips commented: “Moose has been excellent recently but so has the whole team in front of him.

“He only conceded two against Fife, one against Dundee and then three shut outs.

“His concentration levels have been first class especially against Nottingham on Wednesday.

“He only faced three shots in each of the first two periods but when those shots came in he was 100% focussed, ready and made the big saves.

“I can’t speak highly enough about the defence in front of Moose. Since we have had Zack Fitzgerald back and carried six ‘D’ we have been fresh and strong. Guys like Ben O’Connor and Mad Dog (Mark Matheson) haven’t had to log as many minutes.

“This means they are sharper, quicker and that adds offensively as well as defensively.”

Phillips added: “We aren’t the finished article but we are taking big steps.”

We start with Moose and build from the back. You have to say that building is going pretty well right now.”