ALTHOUGH he won’t play any part in tomorrow’s clash at Ice Sheffield against Edinburgh Capitals (7.30pm), Sheffield Steelers received a timely lift when injured forward Pascal Morency finally returned to the ice for practice on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old Canadian forward has not played any part in Steelers’ season since suffering concussion in the season-opener at Cardiff Devils on September 7. Head coach Gerad Adams said the winger was still some way away from returning to competitive action, but was glad to see him making progress.
“It has been a slow process getting him back to where we are right now,” said Adams. “We won’t rush him back though. We have waited this long so another week won’t hurt us. This is a good day though, one we have waited for. He had a big smile on his face and just having him out there gave us all a boost.”
Steelers head into tonight’s clash looking to start another unbeaten streak in the Elite League, having seen their winning start to the campaign halted at five games with a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Adams’s former club Cardiff Devils on Sunday night.
The previous night, Steelers had beaten the Devils 5-3, but were always chasing the game in South Wales 24 hours later when they found themselves 3-0 down after 23 minutes.
Edinburgh come into the game on an eight-game losing streak, picking up just two points in shoot-out defeats since their last victory – 3-2, again in a shoot-out – at home to Cardiff on September 1.
The Capitals – second-from-bottom in the overall league standings – saw their barren run extended with a 5-2 defeat at Nottingham on Tuesday night following defeats to Hull Coventry at the weekend.
Hull Stingrays have moved quickly to replace the exiting Matt Larke, bringing in American forward Will Frederick.
The 25-year-old, from Pennsylvania, played his first two professional games last season for Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL - alongside current Stingrays Stingrays’ player-coach layer-coach Omar Pacha said: “Will is going to bring size and grit up top, which is something I felt we needed.
“Will has good size, he is a big body in front of the net and he plays chippy in the corners.
“Brendan Jamison knows him well and I liked the feedback he gave me. Will also skates well and has a good shot, he is a big frame and adds more toughness.”