Steelers Victorious Over Panthers In Shoot Out – Steelers 3:2 Panthers (pens)

Game Summary

The Steelers left it as late as possible tonight to give them a chance to lift league winning silverware during the week as they overcame a resilient Nottingham Panthers side on penalties.

Three even periods of regulation with neither team able to score in the first, Marco Vallerand and Westin Michaud equalling each other in the second being matched by Otto Nieminan and Captain, Robert Dowd in the third as the game went to overtime and then onto penalties with Vallerand and Watling lighting the buzzer to start off the weekend with two more league points.

First Period [0-0]

Neither team able to break the deadlock in a pretty even first period as both teams had their chances at both ends. Both teams clearly finding their feet in the contest, the Steelers settling back in after the celebrations of Wednesday night and the Panthers after a long bus journey back from defeat in Scotland last night.

Luciani looking particularly dangerous for the Panthers and with probably the best chance of the period for the visitors not being able to convert at the back post with an open goal as his arms were raised in celebration just as the puck went the right side of the post for the steelers.

Neumann with the best chance for the Steelers after jumping on a Simpson backhand effort saved by Stojanovic, but his effort also trickled wide of the post.

Fourteen shots to five in the favour of the Steelers on the shot count, as the Steelers would have been looking to make the most of their efforts in the next twenty.

Second Period [1-1]

A goal apiece for both teams in the second meant it was all square heading into the final period of regulation as neither team was able to take a stranglehold over the contest.

Over half the game gone before the first goal was scored by the Steelers #88, Marco Vallerand after a scramble around the crease of Stojanovic and the puck landing nicely at the feet of Vallerand who took his chance to roof the puck into the top of the open goal as Rok was down on the ice. Goal timed unassisted at (33.49).

Credit to the Panthers who could have fallen away but hit straight back at (35.23). A broken play which saw Stephen Anderson feed Westin Michaud at close range in the slot and he fired home to tie the game.

The Steelers then routinely killing off a Brett Neumann slashing penalty as the teams were even after forty minutes as grade-A chances were hard to come by.

Third Period [2-2]

It looked like the points might be slipping away from the Steelers as the Panthers went up early in the third period on the powerplay. A powerplay courtesy of a too many men on the ice call with Watling looking a little bemused at the call but sat the penalty on behalf of the bench.

Otto Nieminem with a top quality finish on Greenfield with the ring off the crossbar and down into the back of his net. Assists to McGurty and Lemay at (44.38).

But this team just won’t be beaten and went straight back to business putting the pressure back onto the Panthers. Pressure then telling quickly as the Steelers hit back at (48.26) and who else but the Captain, Robert Dowd on a broken play after Niklas Nevalainen’s shot pinballed around those in front of Stojanovic to landed with Dowd and he fired home at (48.26). Secondary assist to Mitchell Balmas.

It was then back and forth for the remainder of regulation but despite continuing to out-shoot the Panthers the Steelers couldn’t find the winner as the game headed to overtime.

Overtime & Penalties [3-2]

Despite the Panthers rattling one off the ironwork and Balmas unable to control a bobbling puck just at the wrong time, neither team were able to find the winner in overtime and the game headed to overtime.

Penalty shot finishes from Marco Vallerand and Patrick Watling was enough to top the single goal from the Panthers Lunsjo and brought the huge crowd to their feet as the Steelers added two more points to their league leading total.

Awards & Table

Patrick Watling was awarded the Steelers Man of the Match award tonight as the Steelers partied on ice to their favourite tune with a bit of St Patrick’s celebrations thrown in.

With the Cardiff Devils only able to pick up a point tonight against Fife, it now becomes possible for the Steelers to win the league on Wednesday night in Sheffield subject to results tomorrow night.

Up Next

Up next is a trip to Coventry tomorrow night to take on the Blaze before another away trip on Wednesday night to take on the Cardiff Devils. Could we then be champions before we return home on Sunday night to take on the Guildford Flames? 4pm face-off – see you there!