Netminder Doyle keen to forge successful era at Steelers

INCOMING goaltender Frank Doyle insists he will be a “stand-up guy” for the Sheffield Steelers when he steps out on the ice in the Elite League next season.

MAN OF STEEL: Goaltender Frank Doyle has been snapped up on a two-year deal by Sheffield Steelers.
MAN OF STEEL: Goaltender Frank Doyle has been snapped up on a two-year deal by Sheffield Steelers.

With previous goalie John DeCaro heading back to North America with only a hoped-for university degree to his name following a barren two-year spell for the South Yorkshire club, Steelers head coach Doug Christiansen has moved quickly to bring in his replacement – after an initial deal for Doyle to join rivals Cardiff Devils fell through.

And while it may be an education package at the University of Sheffield that has chiefly helped entice the 32-year-old Canadian to the UK for the first time in his career, Christiansen believes the Steelers have picked up a star performer.

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“Once I heard Frank was available, I jumped at the chance to sign him,” said Christiansen. “He’s in Sheffield primarily to attend the university’s management school, but we have high expectations on the ice.

“He is a star player and he will be one of the top goalies in the EIHL, if not the top goalie.”

Doyle, who has played 166 gsames in the AHL, has spent the last three years in Italy’s top tier with Fassa.

Having also spent a season in Germany prior to that, the 6ft 2ins stopper is keen to sample life in a new environment.

“I’m looking forward to the British game, I understand it’s a lot more North American, which I like,” said Doyle.

“I want to win and Sheffield has a tradition of doing that, I hope I can be part of a new winning sequence.

“As for me, I am a stand-up goalie. I spent a lot of my time in the New Jersey system where they taught you to stand up and work on your skating.

“I’m calm in the net but I’m vocal to my D-men, I think communication is important both ways.”