The Steelers bounced back from Wednesdays home defeat to Edinburgh in dramatic style beating the Nottingham Panthers 3-2 in the Challenge Cup at the NIC.
Without Robert Dowd, Colton Fretter and Mike Duco head coach Paul Thompson had to reshuffle his pack bringing assistant coach Darrell Hay into the line up and throwing both Cullen Eddy and Rod Sarich on to the wing. Hay would go on to log valuable minutes in Nottingham whilst both Eddy and Sarich put in stellar performances.
With Fitzgerald off for slashing the Panthers went on an early power-play and converted just 40 seconds in when Stephen Schultz scored on the one man advantage.
Steelers would tie the game on their first power-play after Stevie Lee was sent to the box for slashing – Vestberg with the face off win and then Mathieu Roy being first on a loose puck to fire past the impressive Wiikman in the Panthers net.
If it was an even first period it was a Steelers dominant middle session with Sheffield outshooting Nottingham 16-5
The breakthrough came with a moment of brilliance from Rod Sarich, a solo goal of the highest quality beating Wiikman with a backhand shot at 27.18
Further quality chances would come from Legue, Roy and Ferrara but Steelers couldn’t find a way past the Panthers goalie.
Nottingham equalised just 3.30 into the final period, Bryan Schmidt tying the game.
Booed and jeered throughout the night former Panthers forward Chris Lawrence was to have the last laugh scoring the game winner – his job was a simple tap in after outstanding work from Levi Nelson and Zack Fitzgerald.
Nottingham pulled their goalie in the final minute but this was an outstanding performance by the Steelers and Sheffield were not to be beaten – their win moves them clear at the top of their Challenge Cup group with just one game remaining in Manchester.