SHEFFIELD Steelers head into this weekend’s Challenge Cup double-header with Cardiff Devils beset by further injury problems after it was confirmed defenceman Danny Meyers would miss out.
It adds to the concerns already encountered by head coach Doug Christiansen in the past two weeks through the loss of top-scoring forward Maxime Lacroix and defenceman Chad Langlais.
It leaves Steelers with only four recognised defencemen available for tonight’s trip to South Wales, which they follow up with a return leg at the Motorpoint Arena tomorrow (5pm).
The South Yorkshire club could do with some positive results after a heavy cup defeat to Nottingham Panthers last Saturday was followed by a 5-4 defeat in a shoot-out at home to Braehead Clan the following evening.
With Lacroix out for at least three months following surgery on a broken ankle, Christiansen had already been forced to bring in one replacement earlier this week when he signed up 29-year-old Finnish forward Ilpo Salmivirta on a month contract.
“It is a big blow to lose Danny this weekend,” said Christiansen last night.
“I suspect he may be out for a while. He is seeing another doctor next week to determine exactly how long he will be out and if he will require surgery.
“I knew there was a strong chance that Danny would not be able to play this weekend after practice on Wednesday.
“Without Max, Chad and Danny, we knew we needed to add Ilpo to the line-up right away. He had a great practice (yesterday) and showed a lot of promise. On a positive note, Chad skated (yesterday) for the first time. There is a chance he is back next weekend.”
Cardiff go into the double header on the back of two defeats, thrashed 7-0 at Dundee before a 5-3 home reverse to Nottingham in the cup, leaving them two points behind Steelers in the Group B table with two games in hand. The Panthers sit four points clear at the top.