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Curtis Warbuton – match winner

The Bradfield Brewery Sheffield Steeldogs took maximum points at the weekend, including an overtime victory in Basingstoke where Curtis Warburton got the start in goal and conceded only one goal from 48 shots.

After his first win in the National Division, we had a few words with the 18 year old man of the match: “I knew I was getting the start, so I was able to prepare for the day. I had a good pasta meal as I always do and made sure I was hydrated for the journey. When we arrived at the rink I changed and began my game prep. First, I did some work with the foam roller then moved on to some work to get my eyes focussed in, I find some ball work is useful there, throwing and catching rebounds. I listen to music to get me feeling positive and this also helps me keep focus before warm up. “I was a little nervous - I wanted to perform well and give the team the chance to win. It was my first start at this level and Basingstoke is a tough rink to come to. It’s not that easy to see as it is quite dark out there on the ice. After a few shots at the start of the game the nerves started to fade and I found myself really concentrating on the game, I sometimes spray my water bottle and watch the droplets to sharpen my focus. You have to be ready and expect the unexpected. “During the breaks I like to get out for a bit of fresh air if I can. It clears my head. If I need to change my mindset, I get some music on. It makes me feel positive and my confidence is boosted - If you’re confident you play well. “The game went well, the team stepped up to protect me throughout. They put their bodies on the line. But the last few minutes were tough, the nerves did kick in a but you have to dig deep here, focus and push through. Going in to OT I felt fine. I had a quick word with Shirley (Packwood, Team Manager) while we waited for it to start. When Alex got the game winner, I skated to the opposite end of the ice so quickly and just jumped on everyone. “To cap it off, I got the man of the match award, but you know when it’s the goalie that gets it, it is a team effort. Skating off the ice at the end, I felt relieved, I felt I’d made a good impression and I felt good thinking about the step up in level I’d made and that my hard work is paying off, so now I have to work harder and harder. This is the start.”

Well done Curtis! A great performance on a team missing key players and with so many young players in the line-up and another example of the Steeldogs Prospect Programme helping get young talent developed for senior hockey.

Curtis and all the Dogs will be back in action at iceSheffield on Sunday when the MK Lightning are our opponents.

Steeldogs vs Lightning
Sunday December 15th
4:30 faceoff at iceSheffield

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Roger Williams

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