By Ben Housam @benhousam
Sheffield Steelers will have to do without star forward Guillaume Desbiens in their hugely important clash with Fife Flyers on Saturday.
Desbiens received a match penalty after last Sunday’s loss against Coventry and is suspended for the match this weekend.
Speaking after the match, head coach Paul Thompson said “You can’t get frustrated at the end of games. I know tensions are high right now amongst everybody but that stuff you’ve got to be disciplined and focused because it hurts you for the next game.”
The penalty came about when Desbiens reacted to Coventry player Mike Quesnele stamping on his stick.
The Steelers have just five games left of their title defence and currently sit top of the table alongside Cardiff – though the Devils play their game in hand tomorrow against Nottingham Panthers.
Canadian Desbiens was brought in to the Steelers squad in November and has since been a key player in the latter half of the season, scoring 8 goals and 21 points in 38 games.
The news came as the Steelers announced former NHL player Desbiens would return for next season after signing a new contract.
— STEELERS OFFICIAL (@steelershockey) 1 March 2016
Thompson said “He’s been great since we brought him in mid season. He gives you everything it says on the tin – he’s a big power forward, he’s chipped in the big goals for us, he’s a great leader… we’re very very happy he’s coming back for a second year because I believe he’s one of the best in the league at his role.”
The Steelers and Flyers have met four times already this season, with the Steelers coming out on top on three occasions.
Fife are 6th in the table and will be looking to repeat their last encounter where they came out on top 4-3 at IceSheffield.
This is the first of three final home games for the Steelers, with tricky away trips to Nottingham and Fife also still to come.
The match is at Sheffield Arena on Saturday 5 March at 7pm.