Ben O’Connor goes into tonight’s battle with Belfast Giants enjoying the accolade of being British ice hockey’ most successful skater.
The Sheffield Steelers’ defenceman leads the home-grown skaters in points with two goals and 12 assists; 14 points in 13 games.
In his last appearance, O’Connor had a hand in all but one of Steelers’ four goals in the 4-3 win over Braehead Clan. That made him the club’s second-top scorer, sandwiched between Tyler Mosienko and Mathieu Roy.
And Giants will be well aware of his prowess surging forward - he has chalked up three points against them already this term.
Sheffield coach Paul Thompson said: “I think he is head and shoulders above any other British player right now. At Coventry and GB I knew we had a special talent and he has got better after his time in Kazakhstan. His responsibility in defending has increased hugely, too - he’s a real all-rounder.”
Steelers arrived a day early for the game - they didn’t seek to change flights arranged for the Friday night game that was postponed because of the One Direction fiasco. Sheffield are campaigning hard to win some compensation for the 250 fans who made the same arrangements.
Meanwhile, forward Colton Fretter has undergone a hernia operation in Leicester. He could be out for five weeks. Thompson said: “Belfast are a couple of guys down too, they have lost a few conference points and they will be well motivated to perform well.”