Sheffield Steelers v Fife Flyers – Aaron Fox confident free-scoring forwards can keep rolling all season

SHEFFIELD STEELERS’ head coach Aaron Fox says the scoring prowess of some of his leading men has come as no great surprise this season.

Sheffield Steelers' forward, Marc-Olivier Vallerand. Picture: Dean Woolley.

After 25 Elite League regular season league games, the Steelers – top scorers in the league overall with 106 goals, 24 more than any other team – have three players in the top five player points standings.

Brendan Connolly and Marc-Olivier Vallerand, both summer acquisitions by Fox, sit joint-top of the charts with 28 points, the former having scored 15 goals, three more than his team-mate.

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And, just one point behind the pair is another team-mate, John Armstrong having amassed the same number of points as Cardiff Devils’ Joey Haddad, the Steelers’ centreman posting nine goals and 18 assists so far this campaign.

TOP MAN: Sheffield Steelers' Brendan Connolly . Picture: Dean Woolley.

It is a situation – ahead of tonight’s visit from Fife Flyers – that understandably leaves Fox satisified and confident that at least two of those three will still be in the top five come April.

“We do create a ton of offence and I like to play a fast, up-tempo game which creates a lot of offence,” said Fox.

“We knew coming in, that Vallerand had led his previous two teams in goalscoring, so I kind of had him pencilled in for 25-35 goals.

“Connolly has been a top-five scorer in this league for the past few years, so I’m not surprised that he’s up at the top of the list.

Sheffield Steelers head coach, Aaron Fox. Picture: Dean Woolley

“John Armstrong came back last season after being with me (in Croatia) and didn’t run great numbers and has usually been a point-per-game guy in this league.

“But him and Nikolai (Lemtyugov) had some real chemistry with me last year and then when we added Robert Dowd to that line about a month-and-a-half ago they have been a really, really good trio for us.

“If Dowdy hadn’t have missed the last few games injured, he would probably be up there in that top five as well.”

Good news then that Dowd is fit to return to face the Flyers tonight (7pm) as the Steelers look to maintain their lead at the top of the regular season standings, particularly as it is a one-game weekend for them.