Under-strength Sheffield Steelers look for instant remedy to take sparkle out of Dundee Stars

DEFENCEMAN Davey Phillips is not expected to be back in the Sheffield Steelers line-up when they host Dundee Stars on Wednesday night.

Sheffield Steelers' Davey Phillips (Picture: Dean Woolley)

The 31-year-old has not played since the 5-1 loss at Guildford Flames due to an upper-body injury and was due to see the club’s medical staff for an update on Tuesday.

Forward Robert Dowd also remains out and is not due back for around another four weeks, but goaltender Jackson Whistle is fully recovered from the flu and migraine symptoms which saw him replaced inside the first 10 minutes of the 6-2 home defeat to Cardiff Devils on Sunday night.

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Head coach Paul Thompson, who has come in for fierce criticism from a section of the Steelers’ support after the club’s poor start to the season, said he is currently in talks with a number of forwards with a view to filling the vacant spot left on the roster after the release of twin brothers Matt and Ryan Rupert early last week.

Veteran forward Brendan Brooks filled the first space when he flew in last Saturday morning before scoring a game-winning goal hours later at Manchester Storm.

“His body clock is still all over the shop, to be honest, because he hasn’t had much sleep these past few days,” said Thompson of the 39-year-old Great Britain international. “But considering he’s not really had a pre-season or much ice-time before coming over here, for him to be one of our better players over the weekend was a big plus-point.”

Former Steelers’ forward Matt Marquardt will be part of the Stars line-up at Sheffield Arena on Wednesday night, the 31-year-old leaving Sheffield in a major summer shake-up despite scoring 27 goals in a 45-point haul from 62 games under Thompson.

The Canadian winger, who had previously played for Coventry Blaze, has enjoyed a promising start as player-assistant coach under Omar Pacha, scoring three goals in six appearances so far.