Ice hockey video: Sheffield Steelers will work on their finishing, pledges coach Paul Thompson

Sheffield Steelers coach Paul Thompson says his team's sharp-shooting will improve over the remaining training camp, as the new season looms on the horizon.

Justin Buzzeo
Justin Buzzeo

His side managed just a single goal in their last three hours of challenge-match play at iceSheffield, admittedly against ruthlessly-efficient Swedish defending.

Steelers did create chances to score more - but timing and execution was sometimes an issue.

Justin Buzzeo

Speaking after Sunday's 4-1 loss to Timra IK, Thompson pointed out the quality of goaltending for the visitors had been world-class - Niklas Svedberg had been on the books of NHL giants Minnesota Wild, last season.

"He was a pretty good goalie and we are not going to be facing that type of opposition (domestically)" said the coach.

"We are still two weeks into pre-season, were we sharp enough around the net? No, I don't think so.

"But that is ongoing. I like the fact we got to those positions and like I say we won't be playing those talents every week."

Offence will click in

The outstanding personal performance of the four friendlies was that of Jackson Whistle, in Steelers' goal.

And Thompson was keen he would not be exposed when his players started attracting penalties on Sunday.

"We started to get a bit frustrated when the penalties started wracking up again, at the end of the game and I said on the bench: 'Listen Jackson hasn't quit out here, he is not taking any selfish penalties.' He has been fantastic for us; he has given us a chance in every game.

"What a great 'prep' for him and our fans will see what he is about and how he battles."

Thompson is hoping for a full squad by the start of the domestic season - a campaign that will feature new officiating rules.

"We have got to adapt, there is a new rule on late hits and stuff," said the coach.

"There are a lot of new players to the league that have been frustrated over the past couple of weeks but we have to adapt."

Sheffield open their season on September 1 at Nottingham Panthers in the Challenge Cup.

Winger Robert Dowd, who picked up an upper-body injury in pre-season, says he will be fit by then.



Sunday 19th August

Cardiff Devils 4 HK Poprad (Slovakia) 5

Glasgow Clan 1 Dresdner Eislowen (Germany) 5

Nottingham Panthers 2 Fischtown Pinguins (Germany) 1

Sheffield Steelers 1 Timra IK (Sweden) 4