Murrayfield Racers director of hockey, Tony Hand, was full of praise for his short-benched side despite tonight’s 3-0 loss at Sheffield Steeldogs in the NIHL North Cup.
Sheffield, who play in the semi-professional National Ice Hockey League, had to work hard for their victory over the Scottish National League side, with goals from Slovakian imports Adrian Palak and Milan Kolena, sandwiched between a second period short-handed effort from Ben Morgan.
Hand said: “Sheffield are a really strong team and I have to give my guys a lot of credit for the way they played. We were short of bodies and missing important players like Sean Beattie, Martin Cingel, Patriks Grigors and Callum Boyd.
“We knew we would be up against it, and we set up in a far more defensive style to try and keep Sheffield to the outside, and make sure they had to get through two or three layers of defence before they got through to the net.
“I was pleased with how all the boys bought into how we wanted them to play, and hats off to (Racers goalie) Mark McGill, who did really well and kept us in the game for a long time.”
Racers, undefeated in SNL competitions this season, have lost all three of their matches in the round-robin NIHL North Cup. They are next back in action in the same competition next Sunday when they travel to Dumfries to face-off against Solway Sharks.
Hand continued: “We’re not under any illusions, Sheffield were the better side tonight. They are a strong team with a lot of experienced players, but once we get our guys back I think we might be able to go on and surprise a few NIHL teams, especially when we play at Murrayfield.”