Sheffield Steelers | Unlucky in the Crease

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Josh Unice in goal for the Steelers. Photo from The Star, 9/6/2015 [online]

The track history for the Sheffield Steelers net-minders hasn’t been the best in the last 12 months, from Frank Doyle’s injury and subsequent retirement to the most recent injury sustained by leading goalie Marek Pinc. It seems that the Steel City side are not likely to retain a starting goalie for an entire season.

Injuries are plaguing the side left, right and centre and the list is growing by the week. Though this is nothing new for the Orange Assassins who have spent the last year with at least one player off the ice with an injury.

In April 2015, Frank Doyle ended up retiring after an old injury flared up again, causing him to sit out and be replaced for the back end of the season by Josh Unice. This, of course is something that couldn’t be helped and Doyle could have done himself some lasting damage had he continued to lace up his skates.

For a while there was talks for Josh Unice to be brought in on a longer term contract. As he’d been brought in originally on a temporary basis to cover the crease in place of Doyle.

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American Goalie, Tyler Plante. Photo from The Yorkshire Post , 5/11/2015 [online]

However, that was not to be and Unice instead took a different offer, leaving the Steelers open to sign up Tyler Plante for the 2015-2016 season.

It’s all beginning to seem like there’s a pattern. Plante falls fowl of a high ankle sprain in early November and Marek Pinc is brought in to cover for him while he recovers. At the point of Plante being healthy again, Steelers coach Paul Thompson decides to keep hold of Pinc, in what was apparently a mutual decision to part ways with Plante.

My sources are claiming that the American goaltender wanted to leave the South Yorkshire club for pastures new in Germany. Whatever the reason, and it’s honestly not really important now, Plante seems to be thriving in Frankfurt (and is still rocking his Sheffield helmet!) and we here at AAIH wish him the very best of luck.

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Marek Pinc, the latest casualty. Photo from the Sheffield Steelers, 6/11/2015 [online]

And just when we think that nothing else can go wrong…

Last night, while taking on the Cardiff Devils Marek Pinc was taken down on the ice in a freak collision with one of the Devil’s forwards. It was at first unclear as to what had happened, but an eyewitness to the events had this to say.

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“It seemed to knock him out for a few seconds and then he was just laid out for a while until the medics slowly sat him up and started to try and put his shoulder back in its socket… The only one Marek can speak to is Ben [O’Connor]. That must have some effects? I felt so sorry for him tonight. Ben had to lean over him translating for him to the medics. That has to be a scary thing… to not speak the language at all and then having to translate it into a language that you don’t speak so well..”

Eyewitness from Sheffield Arena

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Just the sheer idea of having a shoulder put back in is pretty horrific, most of the time in hospital gas and air is required to help people through the pain. To have that done on the ice? Well that explains a lot about the pictures of the Steelers netminder being escorted off the ice, with a red face and in what appears to excruciating pain. I’m pretty sure most people would have been screaming in agony, but Pinc appeared to be doing his best to hold it together. Even with a slurry of chants from the Devil’s fans as he lay on the ice.

The most recent update from the Steelers on Pinc’s outlook comes from their official website and thankfully it doesn’t appear to be quite as bad as originally thought:

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“The news is better than what we had hoped. The good news is that there isn’t any break. Marek has a good range of movement and the medical staff are confident he won’t be out too long. Marek wanted to make the trip up to Dundee today but its better he stays at home and starts the recovery process.”

Head Coach, Paul Thompson. Source can be found here.

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Again, we here at All About Ice Hockey wish Marek the speediest of recoveries and hope to see him back in the crease again soon.

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