Ice Hockey: Sheffield Steelers 1 Braehead Clan 2 - Steelers make new signing in bid to end poor form

Sheffield Steelers new signing Guilliame Desbiens
Sheffield Steelers new signing Guilliame Desbiens

A French Canadian power forward is being drafted in to lead the battle to find consistency at Steelers, following two miserable weekend defeats.

Sheffield, who dumped wing Mike Duco on Friday, have captured 6ft 2ins Guilliame Desbiens, who had quit Austrian team Olimpija Ljubljana over pay issues.

The 30-year old, who played 23 games in the NHL, is an important acquisition by coach Paul Thompson, who is desperate to find a leader like Sylvain Cloutier was for him at Coventry Blaze.

The one-time Vancouver Canucks skater Desbiens doesn’t score much, but he will put his body on the line - something Thompson wants every night.

He said of Desbiens: “We wanted a player who is a leader, someone who is responsible and helps make those around him responsible.”

Enter the newcomer, who has undoubted pedigree, grit, is up for a challenge.

Chris Lawrence, Mathieu Roy - Sheffield Steelers v Braehead Clan 22/11/15

Chris Lawrence, Mathieu Roy - Sheffield Steelers v Braehead Clan 22/11/15

Last night, at sold-out iceSheffield, a subdued home crowd were drowned out by the travelling 250 Braehead Clan supporters.

There was effort, but not a lot of penetration as Steelers lost 2-1. Chris Lawrence forced two rebounds, the second being dispatched into the net by Rob Dowd, but the goal was disallowed.

At the other end, Scott Aarssen hit the post on the power play.

Temperatures were raised by a brief skirmish involving Nathan McIver and Cullen Eddy. But on the resulting Steelers power play, Brendan Brooks broke clear and fired sweetly past Marek Pinc at 23;14.

There seemed a lack of urgency as team-mates discussed the deficit in occasional huddles.

A second disallowed goal (Jonathan Phillips) added to the strange atmosphere.

Then Bari McKenzie rounded Pinc and shot high, glove side, at 46:27 for 0-2 to Clan. It was game over.

With three minutes left Jace Coyle got one back, but the late rally wasn’t enough to rescue a point.

n Despite Sunday’s loss, it will always be expected of Steelers to win their home games.

Sadly it’s now almost expected of them to lose away, having dipped in five out of their last seven.

On Saturday, Devils put six past Steelers to move level on points with Elite League leaders Nottingham Panthers.

The hosts netted three times - Gui Doucet scoring twice - in quick succession to take control of the match. Steelers were 2-0 and 5-1 down in the 16th and 33rd minute respectively, Fredrick Vestberg and Colton Fretter scoring the away goals.

Coach Thompson was beyond exasperated. After the road defeat he called his team “a bunch of homers.”

He said: “Our fans who spend a lot of money following us around on the road must be disgusted, because I am disgusted.

“It’s a Jekyll and Hyde team! We go on the road and we capitulate. Team defence is just not good enough.”

“They were quicker, faster, sharper,” he said adding that players given certain responsibilities, like the Power Play, had let the team down. “I am sick and tired of looking at this type of performance, week in week out, we are a bunch of homers.”

He blamed road weaknesses on his team’s “Goddam mindset.”

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