Sheffield Steelers re-sign ‘Mr Dependable’ defenceman

Davey Phillips, play off champion
Davey Phillips, play off champion

Great Britain defenceman Davey Phillips celebrated a one-year contract extension with Sheffield Steelers by scoring a rare goal for Great Britain, last night.

The 29-year-old Yorkshire defenceman was a Play Off champion in his debut season and thoroughly deserved a second term, as Steelers re-build for another assault on the honours.

Phillips, who scored in a 5-1 win over Estonia for the national side in the World Championships in Belfast, was a ‘no risk’ option for coach Paul Thompson.

“I was delighted with Davey’s contribution all year” he said.

“He deserves this extension after his work and commitment. It was no risk signing Davey last summer, he is a quality player.

“Davey is solid and reliable. He soon bought into our ways here in Sheffield and was an ever present in the team.

GB celebrate. Pic by Dean Woolley

GB celebrate. Pic by Dean Woolley

“On and off the ice he has become an important member of the club.

“I don’t think there was ever a chance we wouldn’t ask him to remain with us and we are delighted he accepted.

“Our core of champions is getting bigger by the day.

“I like the core group of the club as we stand and it’s only going to get better.”

Phillips spent one year with the Manchester Storm before heading to the Steelers - something the North West fans don’t appear to have forgiven him for.

He previously had spells with Belfast, Coventry and Hull.

Now he says that his focus next season will be trying to help the team take the league title off Cardiff Devils.

* Great Britain kept up their 100% record in the IIHF World Championship Division 1 Group B with their victory over Estonia.

Liam Stewart scored his first international goal, David Clarke and Evan Mosey were on the scoresheet for the second time in the tournament, while Mark Garside and Phillips were also on target.

Netminder Stephen Murphy turned away 21 of the 22 shots he faced in the rink where he plays for Elite League side Belfast Giants.

Brendan Brooks was denied on the doorstep inside the first four minutes, before Clarke’s clever pass from the right circle saw Garside touch in his fourth international goal from the slot (4:38).

Jonathan Weaver’s blast from the blueline was saved by the pad of Villem-Henrik Koitmaa, while David Phillips made it 2-0 with a shot through traffic at 19:19.

Murphy had to be alert to turn away a tip by Roman Andrejev tip, but the same man pulled Estonia to within one when he redirected a pass from Lauri Lahesalu on the powerplay at 29:20.

Steeler Robert Dowd danced through from the left circle but was denied down low by Koitmaa.

Stewart, in his debut men’s World Championship tournament, scored his first international goal with a rebound on the doorstep at 41:16.

Clarke reacted first to a loose puck (44:02) and 26 seconds later Mosey turned in a pass from Matthew Myers (44:28) to make it 5-1 to GB.

GB join Japan, who beat Croatia 4-2 and Lithuania, who defeated Netherlands 8-0, at the top of the table on six points.

There are no games in the tournament today with GB returning to action on Wednesday against Lithuania (7:30pm).

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