Steelers face tough task against hosts

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Ice hockey

Sheffield Steelers begin their quarter-final campaign in the Europa Cup in Tilburg against hosts Keuken Trappers this evening, before facing the favourites, Olimpija Herz, from Slovenia tomorrow and Spain's Txuri Urdin on Sunday.

With just one team progressing to the semi-finals, the Steelers' game against the Slovenian champions is expected to decide the group, although Tilburg could present a tough challenge.

"We haven't set ourselves a target," said their coach, Alex Dampier. "This is a new experience for all the guys in the team - except Nicky Chinn, who was with Cardiff last year." The Steelers have been strengthened by three summer signings in Chinn, Tony Hand - the game's most prolific points scorer - and the Canadian-born Andre Malo.