Frank Doyle believes his Sheffield Steelers’ team-mates must make it more difficult for opposition goaltenders.
The injured netminder made the assessment after watching his club’s 3-1 defeat to Nottingham Panthers in the Challenge Cup semi final first leg on Thursday. Doyle will not be available for tonight’s match against Coventry Blaze, tomorrow’s at Belfast Giants or Tuesday’s second leg at the NIC.
Which is a particularly frustrating given Thursday’s neck injury to his import stand-in Josh Unice. But Doyle believes understudy Geoff Woolhouse has the confidence of his team-mates.
Doyle also said he admired some of the stops made by Craig Kowalski in the Nottingham net in the first leg. He said of the American: “He had a great game. Last year he was injured quite a bit so didn’t get to play each other as much, but he did a great job and showed why he has won so many championships. He made a lot of great saves. But we have to make his life a little more difficult, get a little more traffic in front of him.
“We had a lot of shots from the point but I think he saw a lot of them. We kind of made his life easy. Getting more traffic in front of him is going to be key.”
Doyle said that scoring the first goal of Tuesday’s second could define the outcome.
“Do that and you are right back in it” he said.
Doyle said Woolhouse was “more than capable of playing games. He came in (against Panthers) and did a great job. All the guys are more than comfortable with him in the net.”
While the Canadian accepted that winning by three goals in Nottingham was a tough task: “we have got a let of veteran guys in the room. Hopefully luck is on our side.”
He said there were positives from the first leg and he wanted to see his side build on them tonight.