Thompson expects Steelers to improve in tough environment

Sheffield Steelers' Paul Thompson.

Sheffield Steelers' Paul Thompson.

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PAUL THOMPSON hopes to see an improvement from his Sheffield Steelers team when they face their next Champions Hockey League test tonight against Finland’s JYP Jyvaskyla.

The Steelers were handed a harsh welcome to the competition on Thursday night when they were beaten 9-1 by last year’s runners-up Frolunda Indians in Gothenburg.

The scoreline was tough on Thompson’s players who had held their own against superior opposition for two periods, after which they were trailing just 2-0 and having had a number of good scoring opportunities.

But the visitors ran into penalty trouble early in the third period and conceded five goals in a little over six minutes, Colton Fretter grabbing a consolation goal with a penalty shot.

The Steelers spent most of yesterday travelling, before a late practice session ahead of another on-ice skate and team meeting this morning.

Thompson is expecting another tough test from opponents who won the Finnish SM-liiga in 2009 and 2012.

“There were many, many positives and as we go along on this journey in the CHL I’m expecting us to get better each time,” said Thompson.

“There was a lot of disappointment in the camp after the match against Frolunda,” said Thompson.

“We felt we’d let ourselves down a bit, and our fans.

“It’s going to be the same scenario against JYP too – they are young and they are quick.

“It’s another almighty challenge for us, but there should not be any fear because we now know what to expect.”

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