Steeldogs with chance to extend positive start

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SHEFFIELD Steeldogs are hoping a bumper crowd can help them maintain their impressive start to the English Premier League season.

Andre Payette’s young side have been the surprise package of the campaign so far, finding themselves level on points at the top of the table with Manchester Phoenix, Slough Jets and Milton Keynes lightning, who head the list on goal difference.

Saturday night sees the Steeldogs return to home ice after a mixed weekend on the road which saw them follow up a 4-1 defeat to Slough with a 2-1 win at Bracknell Bees.

Telford Tigers pay their first visit to Ice Sheffield (7.30pm) and while they currently occupy bottom spot in the table, the Shropshire club make the short trip north having produced some impressive performances, the most notable of which saw them defeat reigning play-off champions Guildford Flames 4-1 before a 2-1 overtime win over defending league champions Manchester.

While those results have undoubtedly caught the eye, the Tigers have also shown their dark side, conceding six or more goals in half of their league games this season offering Steeldogs’ the hope they can secure a sixth win of the campaign.

With Elite League neighbours Sheffield Steelers on the road in Nottingham on Saturday night in the Challenge Cup, Steeldogs officials are hoping they can benefit from those fans who won’t be making the short trip to the National Ice Centre.

Sunday sees the Steeldogs hit the road for a first visit of the season to Peterborough Phantoms, currently sitting second-from-bottom after edging out Swindon Wildcats out in a 5-4 thriller at Mallard Road last Sunday.

Sheffield Steeldogs v Telford Tigers (Saturday, 7.30pm), Ice Sheffield. Tickets available on the door priced at: adults £9, concessions £6.50, children £3.50, under-8s free, family £20.