Stefan Meyer sat out tonight during Sheffield Steelers’ win over Nottingham Panthers.
The goal-scoring forward has suffered an injury, which left the way open for Max Lacroix to prove his fitness.
Meyers has been playing with an undisclosed injury for a month.
Nottingham started the evening one-place and one point ahead of their visitors, and needing to supercharge their season after suffering two consecutive defeats.
They had several players out tonight, but former Toronto Maple Leafs d-man Phil Oreskovic was in the line-up.
There was controversy before the Face Off, with Nottingham claiming they’d been told there was to be a delay in the start time - a notion denied by the host club’s officials.
Steelers, who lost at home to Belfast Giants last weekend, went behind when Leigh Salters converted off a back-board bounce on the PP at 3;28.
Twelve minutes later Tim Spencer drove the net and set up a chance for Jonathan Phillips to tuck away.
There hadn’t been many clear chances, so it was a fair first period scorleline of 1-1.
Steelers dominated offensively in the middle 20 minutes, Steve Goertzen, Drew Fata and Rob Dowd scoring, without reply.
At 4-1 there looked no way back for Panthers.
But the visitors scored on a Power Play at 36;45, through David Clarke, to give themselves a fighting chance.
The game remained tight until Jeff Legue’s deflection at 58;35 ensured a home victory, and moved Sheffield above Notts in the table, to fourth.
Period Scores: 1-1, 3-1, 1-0
Penalty Mins: She 6+20+6=32, Not 6+10+4=20
Powerplay: She 1/7, Not 2/9
Shots On: Frank Doyle 7+10+6=23, Craig Kowalski 8+14+6=28
Referee: Dean Smith
Steelers are at Coventry Blaze tonight: see a full weekend analysis in Monday’s Star.
Saturday 25th January
Braehead Clan 1 Belfast Giants 2 (OT)
Dundee Stars 4 Edinburgh Capitals 3
Fife Flyers 3 Cardiff Devils 4 (OT)
Hull Stingrays 1 Coventry Blaze 6
Sheffield Steelers 5 Nottingham Panthers 2