It will be a tough battle of defences, predicts Southorn

ADDED: 28.3.2023

At the moment, he’s the second-best productive defenseman in the Extraliga competition with 38 Canadian points. Only Matt Mackenzie from HC Slovan surpasses Southorn by one point, however, he will not be collecting any more points this season. Therefore, the way is opening up for Canadian Jordon Southorn to reach the prized first place in statistical rankings. But as he himself says – what’s more important than personal points are team wins in playoffs.

He came to Košice with the purpose to repeat the victorious feeling he had experienced in 2019 wearing the jersey of Banská Bystrica, and he’s just eight wins away from achieving this mission. Steelers have already eliminated Nitra from the competition, now they are facing Michalovce.

“In playoffs, every opponent is tough. Even though Michalovce narrowly failed to advance as a part of the first six, they have played amazing series against Trenčín and Slovan. When someone defeats such opponents, they deserve respect, for sure,” points out the 32-year-old native of Montreal.

The series against Dukla has a specific undertone for him. In 2020, after a successful track record, he moved right to Zemplín. Representing Dukla, he had played 47 games, scored 8 goals, and assisted 29 times.

“I’ve played one season there and I still have some friends among them. But now I fight for Košice and I will do everything I can to help my team reach the finals. I’m actually looking forward to the series of games against Dukla, but, at the end of the day, they are an opponent such as any. We have to take it one game at a time and aim for our goal,” continues the fiercely bearded defenseman who expects the defensively tuned series of games to be accompanied by a fantastic atmosphere on both sides. “Both teams prefer a strong defence. They don’t offer many chances to opponents. Powerplays may be an important element. We had a great defence against Nitra, they against Slovan. Therefore it will be a battle of defences and the one to prevail will advance to the finals.”

A great strength of our opponent is their team spirit. It was the ability to show heart during the series against Slovan that was the key, and the Dukla players have been able to eliminate the favourited defending champion thanks to their unyielding battle level.

“Dukla has been building on these attributes ever since joining the Extraliga. It’s a small club from a small town, so they have always played through the heart. They never give up and lean on the amazing performance of their goalie. It’s clear it won’t be so easy. We just have to focus on ourselves and believe in our capabilities,” adds Jordon Southorn.

The two opening semi-final games of the series against Michalovce are to be played on Friday and Saturday in Steel Arena.