Sheffield Steeldogs bring in netminder Jordan Lawday after Dmitri Zimozdra injury blow

SHEFFIELD STEELDOGS have moved quickly to bring in netminder Jordan Lawday after first-choice Dmitri Zimozdra had to undergo keyhole surgery earlier this week.

Greg Wood - Sheffield Steeldogs head coach, right, with defenceman and former player-coach Ben Morgan Picture courtesy of Peter Best.

The 32-year-old Russian-born first choice goalie had to go under the knife on Tuesday having carried a meniscus injury for some months. It means he is ruled out of this weekend’s Spring Cup double-header against Bees IHC and, potentially, for the remainder of the tournament.

Understandably, it is a huge blow for head coach Greg Wood and his team, prompting the owners’ decision to allow the signing of 22-year-old Lawday, who was last season’s first-choice stopper at Milton Keynes Lightning.

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“It’s a massive setback, because Dima is such a big part of our team,” said Wood. “He’s been absolutely rock-solid and consistent for us for the best part of two-three years now.

“But I’m delighted the owners have allowed us to strengthen and we’ll be throwing Jordan in against the Bees.

“Jordan has got a good pedigree and anybody who is a starter in the NIHL National is going to be a more than capable goalie.

“He moves really well, he’s very keen and is a proper student of the game. He’s a young lad who is very driven, he just loves the game.”

Elsewhere, James Spurr returns to the Steeldogs’ roster ahead of tonight’s visit from the Bees, who are yet to win a game in the Spring Cup having lost twice to both Telford and Swindon.

Despite the visitors’ winless start – they host Steeldogs in Slough tomorrow – Wood expects two tough nights as he looks for his players to extend their unbeaten four-game start to the tournament.

“There will be nothing straightforward about these two games,” added Wood. “You look down that line up of their forwards and they have got some real quality in there, almost as much as your Telfords and your Swindons - people like Lewis Hook, Bobby Chamberlain, Vanya Antonov, they have got some very good hockey players in there.

“And if we take our foot off the gas and give up chances in prime scoring areas, anything can happen.

“I will always back us because of the quality we have and the players we have at our disposal, but it will be a far from easy weekend.”

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