Ward wants more of the same against Sting.

Dimitri Zimozdra in action. last weekend.

Dimitri Zimozdra in action. last weekend.

With no home ice action this weekend the Ultimate Windows Billingham Stars will be looking to build on last weekend’s 4 – 3 win over Sutton Sting in the return match tomorrow night at Ice Sheffield.

Last weekend saw the Stars  in control of a 4 – 1 lead going into the final period, however a well taken penalty shot and a deflected power play goal quickly eroded the Stars advantage and set the scene for an edge of the seat display as Sutton pulled out the stops looking to equalise.

Stars have confirmed that forward Stephen Wallace is unlikely to make a return to the Billingham bench, but a late fitness test has not been ruled out.

Sutton confirmed the signature of Rob Streetly and Myles Dacres from Blackburn Hawks, although a coup for the Sting it is further indication of problems in the Hawks nest.

Head Coach Terry Ward knows all too well the pitfalls of Ice Sheffield and its large Ice pad.

“When you play on a rink that size it gives more room for forwards to be more creative, your defence obviously have to work harder as they have a greater area to cover”.

“We were impressed by the speed of Suttons attacking breaks last weekend, but there deficiency seems to be a shortage of experienced defenders”.

“We don’t have that issue in our defence we have bags of experience in Dowd, Thornton and Munroe backed with plenty of younger enthusiastic players who are learning all the time and learning to read the game from the older guys”.

“I would expect a tighter game than last weekend, we dominated the first two periods, and like I said the penalty shot was a fair call and it turned the momentum back in the favour of the sting and made for a very exciting final ten minutes”.

“I expect more of the same desire to win that we showed last weekend the guys played  a high tempo game and worked hard for every shift “.

“We have worked on some drills and moves in training this week designed to get deep and exploit the size of the pad at ice Sheffield, I am confident our defenders will cope better with the large ice and that will be the difference in tomorrow’s game”.

Stars are currently top of the NIHL 1 Moralee conference; however a game for Solway Sharks at Sheffield tonight and against third placed Whitley Warriors tomorrow night at Whitley Bay could see the Sharks regain top spot.

Stars General Manager Allen Flavell hopes other sides can start to take some points of the Sharks;
“Nothing would suit us better than Simon Leach and his Warriors taking some points of the Sharks. We were the only side to beat them in the league last season and so far this season there is only Billingham that have pegged the Sharks back”.

“I know we shouldn’t be talking about other sides taking points of teams, but the number of one goal wins the Sharks have hints that they are there for the taking”.

For any North East Hockey fans not travelling to Ice Sheffield on Sunday, the Warriors v Sharks game faces off at Hillheads Ice Palace at 17:00.

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