IN a Sheffield Steelers career stretching back over 13 years, there have been no shortage of highlights for Jonathan Phillips.
In all, the 37-year-old veteran forward has won four Elite League regular season championships, along with four playoff trophies.
It’s something that is missing from the trophy cabinet and is one I’d obviously like to get my hands on as a SteelerJonathan Phillips
But there is one glaring hole in his Steelers cv - a Challenge Cup winners’ medal. Ironically, Phillips won the competition the season before he moved to South Yorkshire, hometown club Cardiff Devils prevailing after a shoot-out against Coventry Blaze.
But with the Steelers, Phillips has come off second-best five times. Three of those losses came in the two-legged format once preferred for finals, first to Coventry in his first season with the Steelers in 2007 and again the following year to Nottingham Panthers, who prevailed once again 5-2 on aggregate when the two met in the 2013 final.
In the first season a one-game format was usedfor the final, his former club Cardiff were to deny him when winning 2-1 in Sheffield. Two years later – on home ice – it was Cardiff who again crushed Phillips’s dreams.
Tonight sees Phillips lead his Steelers’ team out to face Glasgow Clan in the first leg of this season’s semi-final with Phillips driven by the desire to end his and the club’s long wait for success in the competition.
“It’s something that is missing from the trophy cabinet and is one I’d obviously like to get my hands on as a Steeler,” said Phillips. “There are three trophies up for grabs each year and you want to be in the running for all of them.”
Wednesday night’s clash in Glasgow is the third meeting between the two sides in 10 days, the Steelers twice coming from 3-1 down to win 5-3 and 7-3 respectively in the league, the latter on Sunday at the FlyDSA Arena.
Former Steelers’ defenceman Zack Fitzgerald labelled his team’s third-period showing in South Yorkshire “atrocious” and will be keen to see his players gain some kind of advantage ahead of the return leg in Sheffield on Wednesday, January 29.