THREE Sheffield Steelers players paid the price for the club's bad run of form today when they were released by the struggling Elite League club.
Goaltender Matt Climie, along with forwards Justin Buzzeo and Stefan Della Rovere have all been moved on after a five-game losing streak has left the Steelers second-bottom in the overall standings and in danger of missing out on the post-season.
As a result, head coach Tom Barrasso has opted for change in the roster as he looks to get his team back to winning ways, starting with this weekend's home and away double-header against bottom club Milton Keynes Lightning.
At least one new face is expected in the line-up ahead of this weekend.
A club spokesman said “We would like to go on record and thank all three players for their service to the Steelers and wish them well in their future ventures.
“We are in the process of recruiting new personnel and we are hopeful of some positive news shortly with at least one new player in our line-up for the weekend games against MK Lightning.”
Goaltender Climie was very much a Barrasso signing and has shared netminding duties with Jackson Whistle, but he has failed to convince for the most part and exits after just 13 games.
Forwards Della Rovere and Buzzeo arrived in Sheffield last summer as pat of the major overhaul of the roster undertaken by previous head coach Paul Thompson. Neither failed to provide a much-needed spark to a team which has struggled from day one.
Buzzeo picked up eight goals and 16 assists in 39 appearances, while Della Rovere - who had played under Barrasso previously at Italian club Vappellice - picked up a total of 16 points, seven of which were goals.
All three players were on the ice for Sunday's 6-1 loss at Dundee Stars - following on from Saturday's 6-3 defeat to the same opponents on home ice. Climie was replaced before the halfway mark after conceding four unanswered goals, while Della Rovere's last act in a Steelers shirt was to be ejected from the game on a retaliatory slashing penalty.