Steelers paid a poignant tribute to the fallen colleagues of Russian team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in a heart-warming tribute at Sheffield Arena.
A single skater circled the pad holding a Lokomotiv flag as the official commemorative video was broadcast on a big screen. It was a generous and sincere tribute by players and 4,375 fans, following Wednesday’s jet crash in Russia which claimed 44 lives. Lokomotiv had been flying to Belarus in their season opener when disaster struck. Steelers winger Colt King observed: “It was good to make such a gesture, something small like that goes a long way. It shows our respect.”
When the game-action started on Saturday, the King-Hewitt-Tait line’s first shift created the opening goal, Canadian winger King slotting home. Dundee are no walk-over and home-grown player John Dolan fanned on a shot with the goal at his mercy and later decked Jason Hewitt with a mid-ice hit.
The 3-0 second session saw Sheffield’s best hockey; gritty, decisive and penetrative, very much in player coach Ryan Finnerty’s mould.
Neil Clark scored and then three minutes later assisted on Mike Ramsay’s close-range effort. Jeff Legue then rung up his 300 EIHL point with an assist on Clark’s second of the night. Goalie John DeCaro seemed destined to celebrate his first shut out until Dan Ceman scored with six minutes remaining.
Five goals and two fights (Matt Stephenson v Chris Zarb and Chad Huttel v Jeff Hutchins) - it was a decent home curtain raiser with promise of more to come.
Last night, winger Clark - who took a pay cut to return to the club - completed a tremendous personal weekend, scoring twice in a 6-2 win at Hull, netting the first and last markers. Jason Hewitt and Finnerty had added to his first, to give Sheffield a 3-0 lead, but Hull rallied, Jason Silverthorn netting twice in four minutes. Superior stamina levels showed in the last session with Legue and King joining Clark on the board.
Steelers are top of the league after maximum points from three games.