Puck Plays – British Elite League – By Dan Perry-Plant

This weekend throws up some more interesting ties as the Elite Ice Hockey League heads towards the Christmas period.

Following a four point weekend in Scotland, the Sheffield Steelers return to the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday night as they take on the Cardiff Devils.

Both teams will be bolstered by new signings, as the Steelers will hand a debut to new import forward Simon Ferguson, who is expected to arrive in Sheffield in time for the game. Ferguson joins after leaving Ljubljana Olimpija HK in Austria around a month ago. He has played 334 games in the American Hockey League, and is renowned for both his scoring and penalty taking sides of his game.

The Devils have re-signed GB international defenceman Mark Richardson, who has previously played 241 games for the welsh outfit. Richardson had recently left the Devils for Arlan Kokshetau in Kazakhstan at the start of the season, and although he had a good start to the year, decided his style of play was more suited to the Elite league and the Devils were quick to snap him up.

Saturdays game will be followed by a return fixture in the Cardiff Bay and both teams will be looking to take all four points on offer. Recently key players for the Steelers have been Tom Sestito, Shawn Limpright and Steven Goertzen, and these import forwards seem to have shaken off the rust in the Scottish double header, and will look to carry the momentum into this weekend’s fixtures.

The Devils will be looking to import forward Mac Faulkner who has set the league alight this season with a rich vein of scoring form, and NHL lockout signing Paul Bissonnette who has brought a strong game to the Devils.

Elsewhere in the league on Saturday, Hull travel to Scotland to take on the Braehead Clan, and Coventry will travel to Dundee to face the Dundee Stars.

On Sunday, Braehead will travel to Coventry to take on the Blaze, Hull will travel to Edinburgh to face the Capitals and Nottingham will head to Dundee to take on the Stars.

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