Steelers back ‘home’ on their favourite ice

Sheffield Steelers' head coach Gerad Adams.
Sheffield Steelers' head coach Gerad Adams.
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SHEFFIELD STEELERS will finally be able to raise the banner for their 2013 Elite League play-off triumph tonight when they return to the Motorpoint Arena.

The South Yorkshire club has already been forced to re-arrange three home fixtures due to a faulty ice plant – two being played at neighbouring Ice Sheffield – but will now be able to celebrate at their preferred home.

Ahead of tonight’s visit in the Challenge Cup from the Cardiff Devils, the club will raise the play-off champions banner to hang beside the many others in the rafters of the Arena.

Despite the slight inconvenience, Gerad Adams’s men have been making the most of their bigger ice in practice this week, as they look to bounce back from last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Panthers in Group B.

“We are an arena club, an arena team and this is where we will play our best hockey,” said Adams. “It’s been good to have a few days back here before we face Cardiff.”

Omar Pacha hopes his Hull Stingrays team can build on a positive performance in a 3-2 defeat against defending league champions Belfast Giants last week when they head to Nottingham Panthers tonight.

The Stingrays are bolstered by the arrival in the UK of American defenceman Brendan Jamison for a game which doubles up as both league and Challenge Cup.

Player-coach Pacha himself remains sidelined with a broken arm, but ahead of tonight’s trip to the National Ice Centre and tomorrow’s home clash with Braehead Clan, he was in buoyant mood.

“We showed last week we could compete with Belfast,” he said. “And I think we have a team which can compete with anyone.

“It’s nice to have Brendan on board, we need that extra body.”