Ervins Mustukovs will get a rare respite on Saturday as Sheffield Steelers travel to Manchester Storm.
A friendly has been arranged just 24 hours before the same teams meet for the first proper domestic game of the
season, in the Challenge Cup.
With the Latvian netminder facing 122 shots in the last three torrid Champions Hockey games (average of 40 a night) the exhibition game gives coach Paul Thompson a chance to look out how second-string netminder Brad Day has developed.
The Manchester away game “gives me an opportunity to give Brad a game and play the two young boys” he said, a
reference to Cole Shudra and Liam Kirk. Thompson also has an eye on the remaining CHL game, against Red Bull Salzburg, who butchered his side 8-1 in Austria.
He said his team has to fully evolve from a pre-season mode and he wants them to put in a “good, honest, hard-
working, smart performance” against Red Bull. Thompson gained solace from a good performance “over two periods” last Saturday against HV71. Storm, meanwhile, haven’t had the benefit of a testing pre-season, they start their’s against Coventry tomorrow, before welcoming Sheffield.
Meanwhile CHL sources have confirmed that they were unhappy with the state of Sheffield Arena’s ice quality in last weekend’s game.