Sheffield Steelers: Aaron Fox targets full roster after weekend split with Nottingham Panthers

SHEFFIELD STEELERS’ roster is expected to finally come together as one by tomorrow, head coach Aaron Fox has confirmed.

GOOD TO BE BACK: Robert Dowd celebrates his second period strike for Sheffield Steelers in front of a near-9,000 crowd at Sheffield Arena against Nottingham Panthers, who won 5-3. Picture courtsy of Dean Woolley/Steelers Media.

Netminder Barry Brust and defenceman Kevin Schulze – who impressed during the behind-closed-doors Elite Series – will be in Sheffield in plenty of time for Saturday’s trip to Manchester Storm.

New signing Brust is expected to arrive in South Yorkshire later today, while it’s expected that Schulze will follow tomorrow.

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“It will be good to finally have the full squad here in Sheffield and available,” said Fox, whose team split their pre-season series against Nottingham Panthers over the weekend.

Aaron Fox, back on the home bench for Sheffield Steelers after 536 days away. Picture: Dean Woolley/Steelers Media.

“Barry has his flight ticket and will be here on Monday, while Kevin should have his visa by Monday and, if so, will be on a plane Tuesday.”

On Saturday, the Steelers got their first taste of playing in front of fans again when they beat the Panthers 3-2 at the National Ice Centre through goals from Daine Todd, Robert Dowd and Martin Latal.

Prior to face-off back in Sheffield last night – the first time fans had been in the building to watch a game in 536 days – all present took time to remember those who had passed away since, including defenceman Marek Troncinsky, who tragically died earlier this year.

On the ice, it was another tight affair, but the hosts were up against it after going 3-0 down inside the first period, Massimo Carozza opening the scoring for the Panthers before strikes from Christophe Boivin and Matthew Myers saw the visitors forge ahead.

GAME WINNER: Nathan Ripley scored the game-winning goal for Sheffield Steeldogs in their 3-1 win at Raiders IHC in the NIHL Autumn Cup. Picture: Andy Bourke/Podium Prints.

Dowd reduced the arrears before the end of the first 20, only for the three-goal cushion to be restored by Robbie Baillargeon just before the halfway mark.

Evan Mosey pulled Steelers back again and although a late Davey Phillips tip-in made it a one-goal game, the Panthers ensured victory with an empty-net strike from Baillargeon.

In the NIHL Autumn Cup, Sheffield Steeldogs got their campaign off to an impressive start with a 3-1 at Raiders IHC.

Sam Towner got the ball rolling for the visitors at 18.32, only for Aaron Connolly to level for the hosts early in the second.

In a tight game, the go-ahead goal didn’t come until the 55th minute through Nathan Ripley, Lee Bonner making sure of the win with 58 seconds remaining.

On Saturday, Leeds Knights registered an emphatic 7-1 win at home to Bees IHC.

Cole Shudra, Brandon Whistle and Kieran Brown all scored twice, with defenceman Bobby Streetly also on target.