The Steelers were back in action this evening for the first time since successful Christmas period wins on the 26th and 27th December. Tonight, we took on the Guildford Flames with the Steelers looking to avenge their home defeat to the Flames back in October 2021.
Team news was that Justin Hodgman would be out of the starting line up along with Andreas Valdix and longer-term injured players Saxrud-Danielsen and Connolly. Eberle would also join the absentees from the second period onwards.
Rok Stojanovic received the nod in goal, backed up by Barry Brust.
The starting six for both teams announced as:
The game was tied at two goals apiece after the first period although the Steelers had to come back from a two-goal deficit as the Flames piled on the pressure early in the game at 1.26 and 4.48 as Brett Ferguson and Levi Cable both found the back of the Steelers net.
There was clear sign of the rust after the Steelers lay-off but the men in Orange soon began to find their stride again and the in-form Marco Vallerand was the one to get the Steelers on the board as he found some room and fired top shelf. Goal timed at 5.31, assisted by Martin Latal and Sam Jones.
The Steelers were level at 11.34, this time through Robert Dowd as he broke two on one with Vallerand and a sweet pass across the ice set Dowd up for a one timer which beat Lindskoug. Vallerand and Polak with the assists.
The Flames were quickly on the board again in the second period, with only 1 minute and 26 seconds elapsing before Jamal Watson saw the puck home after Stojanovic missed his poke-check.
With only 3 seconds remaining in the period, Vallerand stepped up again to level the game with another phenomenal top corner effort. Dowd and Stojanovic picking up the assists on this one.
A tense affair ensued in the third period but neither team could break the deadlock and we headed to three on three overtime.
The ice tilted in the Steelers favour when Brett Ferguson took a tripping penalty at 60.36 and sent the Steelers on a powerplay.
The Steelers worked the puck well and finally found the opening they required at 62.08 as Vojtech Polak was found by Daine Todd at the back-post and he made no mistake to erupt the crowd with his first goal at home and steal the two points for the Steelers.
For his overtime efforts, Polak also picked up the Man of the Match award and got the the crowd going once more with his first Eddy – Let’s hope there are more to come!
The Steelers remain top of the table on 35 points along with Cardiff but have four vital games in-hand.
We are next in action on Wednesday night, back at the Utilita Sheffield Arena as we take on the Fife Flyers in quarter final Challenge Cup action. This is one of our £5+fees special games – see you there Sheffield!