Racers forwards exert pressure early in the season. Picture courtesy of Ian Coyle

Murrayfield Racers will be minus five regular players when they travel to Sheffield to play Steelers in the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL), North Cup, on Sunday.

Forwards Callum Boyd and Martin Cingel plus defencemen Patricks Grigors, Ross Borwick and Peter Haddock are definitely not playing.

And Tony Hand, Racers’ director of hockey, said that the clash at Ice Sheffield will be a tough challenge for his men.

The Murrayfield men come into the game on the back wins at Aberdeen Lynx and at home to North Ayrshire Wild last weekend.

Hand said his men battled hard for the points despite being short-handed.

And he will call on his squad to dig deep again as they face a team playing in a really strong league.

Hand said: “The National Ice Hockey League is really strong and a step-up from the Scottish National League.

“But playing games against teams from the NIHL gives our guys more experience and also gives our fans a chance to see really good hockey teams.”

He added that his men deserved real credit for their performance last weekend and he added: “We have a few injuries but that happens in this sport.

“We have no illusions about the challenge ahead of us, but we will do our best.

“It will be a very tough match for us as Sheffield are a very strong team.”