Sheffield Steelers kids get chance to show off their talent

Sheffield Steelers will give their young players a chance to shine in Friday’s Challenge Cup outing at Braehead Clan (7.30pm.)

The team has already achieved qualification to the next round of the competition, so can afford to rest players and aid the development of others like 19-year-old Cole Shudra and Kieran Brown, 16.

Brad Day, 23, will backstop the team to give Ervins Mustukovs a breather.

Coach Paul Thompson said: “We are going to play the hell out of our kids, give guys like Cole Shudra some really good minutes in a non-pressure situation, we will bring Browny up for that as well.

“Maybe we’ll rest a couple of guys and give our youngsters an opportunity to show what they can do.”

Steelers will drive up to Braehead on game day, stay overnight in Glasgow, travel to Fife Flyers for Saturday’s game, and then return in the early hours of Sunday morning to take on the Clan later at iceSheffield.

“It’s a tough old schedule” said the coach.

“Braehead have to do the same, they are playing three in three as well.”

Steelers have not crossed swords with Fife yet.

“From everything I hear they are very good” said Thompson.

Brad Day: picture by Scott Wiggins

Brad Day: picture by Scott Wiggins

“They are very quick, they go to the net, they are gritty; it is not going to be an easy game, at all.

“It is the first time we have seen each other.”

After Sunday’s disappointing defeat to Belfast Giants, where Sheffield looked poor in front of goal, the coach wants to see a more efficient edge.

“We have got to get back to winning ways, we have played some great stuff of late and we’ve got some great results, we have got to bounce back.”

Friday’s opponents, Braehead, have won only four of 11 League games so far.

While Fife have had a good start with five wins from seven.

* FACTSPOT: Sheffield Steelers may have a decent crop of youngsters they can call on, including 17 year old Liam Kirk, but they are well stocked for veterans too, meaning that the average age of the team is currently 29.25 years.