Sheffield Steelers are determined to protect their defensive zone against an explosive Glasgow Clan side which put six past them, last time

Steelers must prioritise the shutting down of Glasgow Clan's sparkling offensive line-up, when the two teams meet on Wednesday night.

By Bob Westerdale
Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 8:04 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 8:07 am
A Sheffield v Glasgow tussle during Clan's win at the Arena last month
A Sheffield v Glasgow tussle during Clan's win at the Arena last month

Clan put six unanswered goals past the South Yorkshire side at Sheffield Arena on January 26. It was Sheffield’s worst home defeat in their EIHL history.

On Sunday, the Scots beat Belfast Giants 5-0 and in between those dates put six past Manchester Storm and five past Dundee Stars.

Their firepower has sent them to third in the EIHL table, three places ahead of Steelers with two games in hand.

Clan have scored more goals than any team underneath them and conceded less.

Steelers’ coach Tom Barrasso clearly respects their offensive potential - and hopes Sheffield's recent defensive excellence on away-ice can be repeated at home.

"Glasgow is a big fast team with offensive skill" he said.

"Their transition game from defense to offence is excellent.

“Their goal production is fairly spread out through the roster, so matching lines to shut them down can be difficult.

"Our priority against them will be to defend hard with five men in the defensive zone.

"Of equal importance will be our offensive zone time and puck possession. If we have the puck, they can’t score."

Barrasso said he assumed that forward Tanner Eberle's concussion had been caused in his recent fight with Coventry Blaze’s Ben Lake.

He will be missing from the Clan game, where Sheffield will be trying to get back on a winning roll after losing at Coventry on Sunday, a penalty shot dip which had followed four straight wins.

Steelers will be hoping to see Great Britain winger Robert Dowd back among the points - he has been re-setting after being out for six games - and also centreman John Armstrong, who has had a barren goal streak stretching back nine games.

As always, top scorer Josh Pitt could be a big influence: he has totted up eight points in the last five games.