STAR forward Mathieu Roy is rated as “50-50” to make his return to the Sheffield Steelers’ line-up for tonight’s Elite League clash with Nottingham Panthers.
The 28-year-old suffered an upper-body injury during last Saturday’s 6-3 loss at Belfast Giants when he left the ice after blocking a shot.
Along with defenceman Dustin Kohn, Roy missed Thursday night’s 3-0 victory over Dundee Stars in the Challenge Cup quarter-final first leg and while Kohn will not feature against Nottingham, there is a chance Roy – the league’s leading points scorer – could be back.
After his team were forced to stay for a second night in Scotland because of the severe winds sweeping the UK, Steelers’ head coach Gerad Adams said he was hopeful of Roy’s return.
“He’s no more than 50-50 at the moment, so we’re going to leave a decision on him as late as possible.”
Having Roy back would be a major boost for the Steelers, not just because they are up against one of their main title rivals in the shape of the Panthers, but as they are also keen to end a four-game losing streak in the league.
Two of those defeats came against Nottingham over Christmas, giving Adams’s team further motivation to take two points at the Motorpoint Arena.
“It was a good performance in Dundee and we did a lot of good things with the puck and could have had more goals.
“It was good for the confidence and we needed the win, but the performance was more important and we got that.”
Nottingham – one point behind fourth-placed Steelers – yesterday boosted their firepower by bringing in former Hull Stingrays forward Guillaume Doucet and hope he will be cleared to play tonight.
The 28-year-old scored 50 goals in 85 points for Hull last year before moving to Danish club Herlev, posting five goals in eight points from 25 games.
His former club face a tough weekend when they take on the league’s top two teams.
Omar Pacha’s men head to second-placed Belfast Giants tonight before returning home tomorrow (6pm) to welcome Gardiner Conference rivals and current overall league leaders Braehead Clan.
Forward Dominic Osman said: “We’ve played Belfast a couple of times now and, last time out, at ours, it was a great result and we beat them.
“As long as we stick to our game plan, we stand a chance.”