Ice Hockey: Rossington brothers to face off in Sheffield Steeldogs clash

Lee Haywood

Lee Haywood

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Ice hockey stars Lee and Matthew Haywood are preparing to face off for the very first time.

The Rossington brothers will go head-to-head at iceSheffield on Saturday (6.30pm) in a charity curtain-raiser to the new season between Sheffield Steeldogs and a Sheffield Scimitars All Stars.

Matt Haywood

Matt Haywood

And it could get interesting - because defenceman Lee will go man for man against speedy forward Matthew for the first time in their respective careers.

The former Rossington All Saints pupils both came up through the Sheffield youth system, progressing through the ranks of the Scimitars who then became the Steeldogs in 2010.

Steeldogs star Lee, 26, was last year voted Supporters’ Player of the Year and Most Improved Player as the club finished seventh in the English Premier League. He was also the highest scoring defence man in the league.

But on Saturday his focus will be stopping his younger brother, who will line up for the All Stars.

Fast-skating forward Matthew, 23, left the Scimitars at the age of 19 to join Braehead Clan of the Elite League, where his head coach has high hopes for him for the forthcoming season.

“I think last year was a learning curve and he will now reap the benefits,” said Ryan Finnerty.

“I thought he was one of our best players down the stretch and into play-offs and I look for him to come into the season confident and eager to take that next step up.”

Matthew was a gold medal winner with the Great Britain Under 20 team and has played twice for the senior side.

Lee has also represented Great Britain at university level.

Saturday’s game will help to raise funds for the Sheffield Academy, Steeldogs development fund and Issabelle’s Appeal, in memory of Sheffield youngster Issabelle Futter who lost her battle with Neuroblastoma - an aggressive childhood cancer - in 2012 aged seven.

Tickets are priced £5 adults, £3 concessions.

For more information visit www.sheffieldsteeldogs.co.uk.