Sluggish Steelers need to be more dynamic early on


IceSheffield will be no place for any slowcoach Steelers’ skaters tonight.

The team has frequently been sluggish when the puck is first dropped, particularly in home games.

Steelers have scored only eight goals in 13 first periods staged in South Yorkshire, so far - compared with 17 away in two fewer games.

And Doug Christiansen’s team have conceded 17 times at home in those home games - suggesting there is something not clicking quickly enough in the camp.

Steelers have not “won” a first period since their 4-2 defeat of Coventry Blaze on November 9. But they will certainly want some early fire behind them against a Dundee Stars team who have beaten and lost to Steelers, by a single goal, this season.

Tonight Sheffield will be up against hot goalie Dan Bakala, a netminder much respected by Sheffield defenceman Danny Myers.

“Jeff Hutchins (Stars coach) recruited an excellent goaltender in him - and they had a good one last year too” he said.

“Bakala has made some highlight reel saves this season. He’s very athletic and once his confidence is up he’s hard to beat” he said.

But despite the frustrations of recent mixed form, Meyers said there was “a belief in this team and we can win both games this weekend.” (Cardiff away tomorrow)

n Drew Fata’s brother says the Sheffield d-man has got a decision to make at the end of this season.

Rico Fata, who plays in Finland, wrote in on an line blog: “It was easy for Drew to go and play in Sheffield these last two years. He has an opportunity to play the game he loves, and also get his education. (Sheffield University.)

“He has admitted that it has been tough at times to balance his hockey schedule with school, but has made it work. His focus is to get his degree at the end of this year, and make a decision to continue to play or find an opportunity in the job (market.)