Raiders goalie James: A good chance to showcase skills against Sheffield
- Credit: John Scott
Everyone Active Raiders netminder Ethan James believes it will be a good opportunity for them to showcase their skills when they face NIHL Spring Cup favourites Sheffield Steeldogs.
Head coach Sean Easton and his side will make the trip north to Ice Sheffield on Saturday (6.30pm) before then welcoming Greg Wood’s men to the Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre the following night (5pm).
Sheffield have bolstered their roster with the additions of NHL prospect Liam Kirk, Great Britain stars Ben O’Connor, David Phillips, Ben Lake and Jonathan Phillips while also maintaining the signings of Jonathan Kirk and Jason Hewitt on loan from Hull Pirates.
James said: “I’m looking forward to facing Sheffield even with the amount of elite players that they have brought into the squad. I think it is a good challenge for players to showcase their abilities against some very experienced opponents.
“Throughout this series I believe that we can all learn by playing alongside elite players. This is going to not only improve us as a team but also improve us individually.”
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The star of the show for Sheffield in their two victories over Swindon Wildcats has been 21-year-old Liam Kirk, who has been playing in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the Peterborough Petes the last two seasons.
James, 21, has come up against Kirk many times in junior hockey and played alongside the forward for Great Britain under-18s and under-20s.
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“I have played against Liam several times before in the past. Every time I have faced him he has always been a goal scoring threat, so therefore this time round will be no different.”
The former Romford junior also insisted it is massively important to not treat any team or any game differently during this mini-series of games despite who they have lining up for them.
“I believe that the key thing going into a game like this is to not change your mindset. I will be taking each game as it comes throughout this series.
“I know that Sheffield are a strong team and will be our toughest challenge throughout, however I am looking forward to the challenge.”