Sheffield Steelers: New Doncaster-born goaltender Ben Norton 'thrilled to be home'

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“I'm so excited to be playing for the team I grew up watching”

Sheffield ice hockey won't be short of goaltenders in the new season.

At the top of the pyramid, EIHL Steelers will have two import netminders.

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Recently, they added Rotherham's Curtis Woodhouse to the programme, on a two-way deal with NIHL sister club Steeldogs.

Doncaster-born Ben Norton has joined Sheffield Steelers and their sister club Steeldogs in a two-way deal. Pic: Sheffield SteelersDoncaster-born Ben Norton has joined Sheffield Steelers and their sister club Steeldogs in a two-way deal. Pic: Sheffield Steelers
Doncaster-born Ben Norton has joined Sheffield Steelers and their sister club Steeldogs in a two-way deal. Pic: Sheffield Steelers

Today they also announced the return of Doncaster-born Ben Norton on a similar contract.

The six-footer played for Sheffield Stormers before leaving the area in 2018, to play and train in the US.

He then joined Bristol Pitbulls for the 2023-24 NIHL season.

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It was a difficult campaign, with Bristol ending up bottom, losing 40 of 54 games.

Ben Norton played for Sheffield Stormers before leaving the area in 2018, to play and train in the US. Pic: Sheffield SteelersBen Norton played for Sheffield Stormers before leaving the area in 2018, to play and train in the US. Pic: Sheffield Steelers
Ben Norton played for Sheffield Stormers before leaving the area in 2018, to play and train in the US. Pic: Sheffield Steelers

Steeldogs ended up next to bottom.

Now aged 20, Ben, a one time England junior, is looking for an upturn in fortunes.

"When I was four years old, my mum took me to a Steelers' game and that’s when I fell in love with hockey," he said.

"I was 14 when I moved abroad to hockey school. This is my first time back in Sheffield since I moved away and I'm so excited to be playing for the team I grew up watching.

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"I know how great the fans and people are in Sheffield, both with the Steelers and the Steeldogs and I can’t wait to join the teams and help them win.

"Sheffield is a great place to play, and I’m thrilled to be home"

Steeldogs' coach Ben Morgan said "Being able to bring Ben back to Sheffield is a real sign of intent from the club.

"Ben alongside Curtis will look to push one another for starts this year, again emphasising the commitment to developing homegrown talent.

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"When we played against Ben in Bristol last season, he was the difference between the two teams and ultimately played strong enough to see his team over the line on two separate occasions.

"We’re delighted to have Ben on board for next season, and I can’t wait to begin working with him".

Steelers coach Aaron Fox made the bold forecast that the youngster could end up being an Elite League regular.

"Ben is another local Sheffield goalie who is coming back home to work on developing his game by being able to practice with us and then get valuable game time with Dogs," he said.

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"It’s a great situation for both teams and for him to get back and hopefully develop into an EIHL starting goalie at some point.

"I have heard great things about his work ethic and character and looking forward to working with him."