Payette out to douse Flames

Andrew Sharp is getting ready to fan the Flames against Kalcrest Steeldogs on Sunday.

The controversial ex-Manchester Phoenix heavyweight needs no introduction to player-coach Andre Payette and it should lead to some feisty play in the iceSheffield showdown against the Guildford visitors (5.30pm).

There’s previous between the two hardmen - Sharp blind-sided Payette in Manchester but the attack was dealt with in the final game of last season - so any exchanges between them will only add spice to the Steeldogs final home game before the Christmas break.

Flames have won their last seven and currently head the table with Slough Jets on 32 points.

It will be their last regular season visit after their double-header in October, which saw Steeldogs gain two Cup and League points in a penalty shootout win followed by a one-goal defeat.

Since then Sharp has joined the roster but he managed to deflect some of the negative press by claiming two goals in his first weekend in a Flames shirt.

Payette will be striving for his team to pick up at least two points this weekend - they travel to Basingstoke Bison on Saturday (6.30pm) - especially on Sunday in an attempt to even up the series.

They’ll also be looking to bounce back after their blank double-header against Slough ... 5-3 on the Saturday and a 1-0 home defeat 24 hours later.

Ashley Calvert scored twice in the Slough clash while Pavel Gomeniuk was also on target. Steeldogs thought they had grabbed a last minute equaliser on Sunday but it was ruled out with what was deemed a high stick.

Payette said: “The guys played fantastically over the weekend and it is no shame to lose by just the one goal each game against a team that has six players in the top 20 scorers in the league.

“We only just came up short on both days and I’m proud of every member of the team and how well they played against Slough.”

Steeldogs are still in with a chance of a semi-final place in the Cup but have made the task harder as Slough leap-frogged over them into third position. They have one Cup game left, against Peterborough Phantoms at iceSheffield on December 30.

Tickets for Sunday’s clash are on sale on the door from 4.30pm, price £9 adult, £6.50 concessions, £3.50 child (under-8s free) and £20 family.

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