DURHAM, UK – Sutton Sting of NIHL North Division 1 have made an impressive double signing over the last week and a half by securing two top players for the remainder of the NIHL1 campaign. Netminder Dmitri Zimozdra joins from Sheffield Steeldogs while Chris Sykes has switched to Sutton from the Hull Stingrays. Dmitri Zimozdra has joined Sting after being released from the EPL organisation the Sheffield Steeldogs soon after they signed James Flavell from Billingham. Sutton Coach Ian Johnson was in discussions with Dmitri in pre-season but couldn’t tempt him to sign for Sting at that time. However once Zimozdra left the Steeldogs he was quick to agree to a deal to join the ambitious Sting.
Ian Johnson spoke about how highly he regards Zimozdra.
“An inform Dmitri is just what any team needs and he can play at any level. He brings additional experience and is definitely a big game player. Bringing Dmitri in does have its problems as I have to release one of our existing NM’s, and the decision will be very difficult as both have worked hard to improve and support the team. “Looking ahead I think we should start to make it really tough for teams to score against us, which should give us the advantage we need to win games, as we always seem to manage 10% success in front of our oppositions net, but give the opposition the same opportunity in front of ours. Everyone here at the Sting wants to improve and we want to give our fans something to be proud of.
Soon after the signing of Dmitri was confirmed, Sting were informed that another of their pre-season scouted players Chris Sykes was ready to make the transition from a higher league down into the NIHL due to work commitments. Sykes began the campaign with the Hull Stingrays in the Elite League however a change in the players circumstances made it impractical for him to continue to ice for the Humberside outfit.
Ian Johnson spoke about the signing of Chris Sykes and how he thought his roster on the whole was shaping up. “Chris Sykes is a player who played for me when we had the Sheffield Scimitars and he will bring more quality to the Sting Roster as we look to secure a playoff spot. Chris is a work horse who has a nose for the net, and a player who works hard in the corners every shift.
“When Chris played under Jon Rowbotham at the Sheffield Scimitars he gave his all every game and put some impressive points up for a young guy finding his feet (in that league). I talked to Chris pre-season but I couldn’t really compete with the offer he had from the Stingrays but with his work commitments changing it meant I had a chance to sign him and I am really pleased he has agreed to join us. “Sutton now have 4 solid lines and enough depth to cover for injuries and holidays so there are no excuses looking ahead, we don’t have an import (like some other sides in the division) but we have the quality to match anyone now.”
Sting currently sit 4th in the NIHL North Division 1 standings and with signings such as Zimozdra and Sykes Sutton will surely be challenging for a play off berth come the end of the season.
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