ICE HOCKEY: Kleinendorst looks for consolation

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KURT KLEINENDORST, the Manchester Storm coach, is determined his side will not just be making up the numbers when they face Brynas in their penultimate game in Europe tonight. Storm have been a huge disappointment in the Skoda European Hockey League this season, losing all four matches to date from which they have taken a single point following a penalty shot defeat to Sparta Prague.

Kleinendorst's side still have a mathematical opportunity of finishing in the top two and qualifying for the semi-finals, but he is realistic enough to know they have effectively blown their chance this season.

"We've put ourselves in a very bad position with two games to go," admitted Kleinendorst. "We realise that it's just not going to happen.

"Every year I've been involved in this organisation we've always had a chance going into the last game, but not this time and that's disappointing. But I can assure the fans we will do our very best."

Kleinendorst will be without his recent signings, Jeff Johnstone and Scott Campbell, who are both ineligible.

Sheffield Steelers have completed the signing of Dale Craigwell as they look to bolster their Superleague title hopes. Craigwell, who played centre at San Jose and Kansas City alongside Sheffield's Ed Courtenay, will make his debut in this Saturday's league game at home to Cardiff Devils.

Steelers will also be hoping their tough defenceman, Dennis Vial, will be in the line-up, but are still awaiting the issue of his Italian passport.

Eagles have been forced to release John Varga, who has returned home to Chicago with his family for personal reasons.