Ice Hockey: Sheffield Steelers are going in One Direction...to the top

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You don’t normally associate hard-bitten hockey players with the boy band One Direction.

But defenceman Cullen Eddy says tunes by Doncaster’s Louis Tomlinson and his pals makes him “feel good.”

Robert Dowd celebrates during Sheffield Steelers win over Nottingham Pathers

Robert Dowd celebrates during Sheffield Steelers win over Nottingham Pathers

The Canadian tough guy is even happier today after a four-point glory weekend with Steelers.

Sheffield, as a club, only ever have ‘one direction’ in mind.

And that is upwards, to the top of the Elite League charts, where they currently reside, jointly, with Braehead Clan.

And the perfect sound-track to that was the 3-2 win over rivals Nottingham on Saturday, a scoreline that was music to the ears of 7,196 fans followed by a sprightly 4-1 win at Fife last night.

On Saturday, at a noisy Arena, the first period had been no-quarters-given with defences denying space to the forwards.

Panthers’ main goal threat David Clarke was dangerous down the left while Tyler Mosienko and Rob Dowd were creative for Steelers.

Max Parent escaped the attentions of Jay Latulippe to slip the puck just wide of the home game. It was a let-off but the biggest controversy was a penalty handed out to Dowd for a ‘check to the head.’ He’d leant forward to protect the puck with his shoulder into an on-coming check - and had to sit out for 12 minutes for it.

It was while he was in the box that Mike Forney lashed in the only clear opportunity of the period (18;36) from left of Mattias Modig’s crease.

League top scorer Mathieu Roy screened the Panthers’ net for a shot which rebounded out for Colton Fretter to score easily for 2-0 at 21;49.

Nottingham re-grouped and attacked in numbers and when the home side failed to clear the puck from behind their net, Robert Farmer poached a reply.

Rod Sarich lost the puck to deliver a short-handed chance for Parent, but Frank Doyle spread himself big enough to keep Sheffield ahead.

From two behind, Panthers were level when Parent, who’d had a minor skirmish with Sarich on the boards, popped up outside Doyle’s net to prod in an equaliser.

Panthers hit the pipework twice via Bruce Graham and Clarke but a piece of individual brilliance won it for Sheffield

Dowd twirled in the left circle, no marker near him, and flashed a shot past Modig.

Fretter hit the outside of the post when an empty netter was on.

Last night at an ill-disciplined Fife, Bobby Chaumont had their best early chance, his shot bouncing off Doyle’s shoulder, but overall it was even, with a shot-count of 12-12 in the opening stanza.

Fife fans held their breath when Canadian D-man Kyle Haines was hurt and paramedics had to go on the ice.

American Flyer Matt Nickerson seemed to take a dislike to Mark Thomas but he didn’t get the fight he wanted - and a super save from Doyle prevented Allan Anderson from giving a home side lead.

Fife goalie Kevin Regan was beaten on 30 minutes though, Roy notching at the back post.

But a minute later Scott Fleming levelled as the Scots hit back, short-handed in a penalty-strewn, ill-tempered period.

Roy, though, a ruthless sniper for Steelers, made it 2-1 at 37;50 on a power play and the French Canadian effortlessly chalked up his hat-trick five minutes later.

Fife suffered an empty netter from Mosienko with 46 seconds left.

RESULTS

Sunday 7th December

Elite League

Braehead Clan 6 Hull Stingrays 4

Cardiff Devils 5 Belfast Giants 3

Coventry Blaze 3 Nottingham Panthers 4

Edinburgh Capitals 3 Dundee Stars 2

Fife Flyers 1 Sheffield Steelers 4

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