Ice Hockey: Nottingham Panthers 3 Sheffield Steelers 4 - Adams’ men close in on title

Mathieu Roy was in inspired form for Steelers against Nottingham

Mathieu Roy was in inspired form for Steelers against Nottingham

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Sheffield Steelers can win the League title on Saturday night.

An astonishing late rally - and two goals from their best skater this season, Mathieu Roy – saw them win 4-3 at Nottingham Panthers.

Roy levelled at 3-3 with two and a half minutes to go. Then he buried the winner with 12 seconds left.

Victory on Saturday over Cardiff means Steelers are champions!

Last night they had to come from 2-0 and 3-2 down to claim the points in overtime against a team that dearly wanted to ruin their title chances.

Panthers had their first effort on Josh Unice after 11 seconds, but Steelers held firm and took the initaitve, Mattias Modig having to block Mike Forney at the other end.

Sheffield had triumphed in their last two performances at the NIC. But British d-man Sam Oakford was first to net at 8;18.

Two Sheffield power plays came and went in the first period - which meant their 8-16 shots advantage meant for nothing.

Greg Jacina, on a four v four play, made it 2-0 for Notts at 21:28, seemingly giving Sheffield a mountain to climb.

But the margins are small between these two British giants and when Panthers gave the puck away three minutes later Forney skated down the left and fired home.

And d-man Ben O’Connor, on a shorthanded play with Cullen Eddy in the box, seized on another Panthers’ sloppy error to level at 32;05.

Two attacking forwards on both sides clashed, Guillaume Doucet and Forney taking minors at 48:33.

But it was another forward who created a more significant play. Brandon Benedict, who seems to have posed problems for Steelers in most of their games over the last four seasons, put the home side ahead at 52.50.

Panthers are the League’s form team, having won five on the bounce.

But Mathieu Roy stunned them at 57;32 with a 3-3 rebound equaliser which took the teams into overtime at the NIC.

O’Connor’s slapshot threatened to get his second of the night in the four-on-four session.

But then Roy, such a find for Steelers, dramatically won the game, and possibly the title, for Sheffield.

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