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Ice Hockey: Sheffield Steelers v Cardiff Devils

League leaders Cardiff Devils have a fully fit squad as they prepare to face Sheffield Steelers in a top-of-table clash

Cardiff Devils travel to Yorkshire to play Sheffield Steelers in what could be a title-deciding match

The Devils are top of the table and have won their last 20 games. Sheffield, though, will prove stiff competition as they have seven successive victories to their name.

Sheffield are currently in third place, four points behind Cardiff but do have a game in hand.

The rivalry between the two teams is one of the fiercest in British hockey and with just over two months left in the season it’s only going to intensify.

Another twist to this game is both clubs are owned by the same person; Paul Ragan.

Mr Ragan will miss the match as he is away on business in New York but he recognises how important the game is.

He said: “This match is massive; it could be a league decider. Sheffield are the biggest threat to the Devils’ title challenge. There is no doubt about that.”

Sheffield’s Coach Ben Simon is also looking forward to the match.

He told The Inferno: “It’s huge for both organizations, Cardiff are a great club with a fantastic winning streak going.

“Regardless of that streak it’s a must-win game for us. The keys for us are to stay disciplined, stay out of the box and play simple hockey.

“They are a great team and have taken it to us on their own smaller ice. It’s a bigger surface at the arena and we have some great skaters who can take advantage of that.”

The Devils should be at full strength with Alex Symonds making it through last weekend’s games with no new injury problems.

Sheffield are hopeful long-term injury victim Jonathan Phillips could play some part in the game. Phillips has been out with a knee injury since October.

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About Tim Hart

Cardiff University Postgraduate Student

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