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Sheffield Steelers and their new boy are ready for pressure-cooker tournament

Steelers on the Minsk training pad
Steelers on the Minsk training pad

Sheffield Steelers’ coach Paul Thompson believes his latest acquisition will be more than ready to contribute to their Continental Cup series in Belarus this weekend.

Forward Eric Neiley made his debut for the club last weekend at Belfast Giants, scoring an assist and chalking up seven penalty minutes in the two games.

Now Neiley and his team-mates start the Final series on Friday against Nomad Astana of Kazakhstan, another big challenge.

Thompson said: “I like him. He has to adjust to the big ice after the smaller pads he is used to. But he is good on the puck, he had scoring chances for himself last weekend and made them for others too.

“He was brought in to help offensively and he will do that. He is strong around the net and can get his shot away. He seems to have a good attitude too.”

The coach said the level of expectations in the tournament - Nottingham Panthers won it last season - is nothing new.

“We bring our own pressure, actually I don’t think pressure is ever off.

“But we haven’t travelled half way around the world to not turn up in the games, we want to win it. So much has gone into our preparation, the logistics of getting here, we want to give a good account of ourselves.”