Tim Smith backing Sheffield Steeldogs to overturn Autumn Cup deficit against Leeds Knights

Sheffield Steeldogs' Tim Smith. Picture: Dean Woolley.Sheffield Steeldogs' Tim Smith. Picture: Dean Woolley.
Sheffield Steeldogs' Tim Smith. Picture: Dean Woolley.
TIM SMITH insists Sheffield Steeldogs are more than capable of overturning a two-goal deficit when they take on Leeds Knights in the second leg of their Autumn Cup semi-final tonight.

The experienced defenceman admitted the Steeldogs got ‘outworked’ in Wednesday night’s first leg at Ice Sheffield but vowed it would be a much-improved display at Elland Road.

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Two goals from Lewis Baldwin and a late power play strike from Harry Gulliver sealed a 3-1 victory for Dave Whistle’s team, snapping a five-game losing streak in the process.

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MISSION: Sheffield Steeldogs 
head coach, Greg Wood 
Picture via steeldogs Media 
SeptemberMISSION: Sheffield Steeldogs 
head coach, Greg Wood 
Picture via steeldogs Media 
MISSION: Sheffield Steeldogs head coach, Greg Wood Picture via steeldogs Media September

Smith was sidelined by injury for the first leg and hopes to return to the line-up for the rematch against their Yorkshire rivals, who they beat 6-3 at Ice Sheffield last month during the group phase of the competition, earning them the top seeding.

“We’re not going to hide from anything,” said Smith. “Everyone in that locker room was hurting after that performance. We expect better from ourselves and our only option is to put it right on Friday.

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“We know that performance wasn’t good enough but, trust me, it will be a totally different game on Friday. We will bounce back. There’s going to be a backlash and I hope that Leeds are on the receiving end of it.”

Tonight marks the continuation of a busy period for the Steeldogs, which will see them play four games in five days.

Saturday night sees them back on home ice to take on Raiders IHC (face-off 7.30pm) - who they beat on the road 5-2 last Saturday - before Sunday takes them on the road to face Peterborough Phantoms.

Knights’ defenceman Lewis Baldwin, meanwhile, is expected to continue in the forward role in which he excelled on Wednesday.

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Whistle is expected to have just the same 12 skaters he had in Sheffield, meaning he is likely to play just four defenceman, with Baldwin working in tandem further forward with Gulliver once again.

“I’m happy to play whatever position,” said 22-year-old Baldwin. “I was happy to play forward, one of us had to.

“It was nice to do something different to be honest, to be asked to play a different role and if I have to do it again on Friday then I will, no problem.”

To buy tickets for tonight’s semi-final second leg at Elland Road Ice Arena go HERE

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