Swansong for ice hockey in Sheffield as Steeldogs chase a double

Double-hunters. Pic by Peter Best
Double-hunters. Pic by Peter Best

The last senior game of ice hockey in Sheffield this season is tomorrow evening as Sheffield Steeldogs take on the Swindon Wildcats in the NIHL National Cup Final.

It pitches the Northern League champions against the NIHL Autumn Cup winners for the final piece of silverware. Swindon will be rested having missed the playoff Final Four whilst the Steeldogs will be looking to build on a strong game against Basingstoke.

Steeldogs player/coach Ben Morgan has no regrets about the Steeldogs performance in that semi-final defeat.

He said: “I was thrilled with the effort we put into the Basingstoke game. I said to the boys after the game on Saturday, don’t be too downhearted or disappointed with yourselves. We were clearly unhappy with the result but not with the performance.

"We were excellent at shutting down their lines. I thought we were unfortunate to not get the better of them in all honesty. In terms of the effort and enthusiasm the boys put into the game it was all there so I couldn’t ask for any more”.

Morgan is looking to take that momentum into Wednesday’s cup game: "We will use that disappointment to fuel the boys and be ready to go into the game, all guns blazing. We want to try and get a lead and hopefully a commanding lead to take down into Swindon on Sunday.

“The boys know there’s two hours of hockey left of the season, and if they perform well we can be League and Cup double champions. This would be massive for us as a club. It would mean everything to get a double.

"In my opinion the league was the biggest one and if you can come out on top of that over 36 games it shows you have grit and something different that enables you to beat the rest over the long run. But to top it all off with the National Cup, that would be immense and round off our season nicely.

“It’s been a long season and a good season for our club. We just need to put together two more good games like we did against Hull in the cup semis and at the end of the league campaign and then we have all summer to recover and to reflect on what we have achieved – and the cup would make that even better”.

The cup first leg is faces off at 7:30 at iceSheffield.