Video: Sheffield Steelers 2-1 Nottingham Panthers (overtime)

The Prodigal Son returned for Sheffield Steelers tonight.

Saturday, 27th October 2018, 6:33 pm
Updated Sunday, 28th October 2018, 10:56 pm
Ben O'Connor by Hayley Roberts

The 29-year-old defenceman Ben O'Connor returned to the fold, to take on Nottingham Panthers, after 11 games with Leksands in the Allsvenskan league, in Sweden.

O'Connor was given a warm welcome at Sheffield Arena when he skated out and was on from the start.

Ben O'Connor by Hayley Roberts

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But the first line ahead of the Steelers' defence granted Panthers too much space in the third minute and Luke Pither scored from Justin Kovacs.

Steelers responded by driving the net in numbers.

And when they do that, they look a good offensive side.

They were plain unlucky not to finish off one of several multiple-bodied assaults on Michael Garnett, Josh Pitt and Jordan Owens left shaking their heads after the puck failed to find its way through.


O'Connor tried to initiate from the back and there were promising efforts from Tanner Eberle and Josh McFadden, but Jackson Whistle had to deny two breakaways from Robert Farmer.

All in all, Sheffield could feel they didn't deserve to be behind to the top-of-the-table visitors.

Steelers rarely looked like scoring in the middle period, they looked like they were lacking an out and out offensive threat.

The need to execute was a frustration for the crowd.

While this wasn't as blood-and-thunder a game as we've seen before from these rivals there was no shortage of backing for the home side - there was just the perpetual question of who was going to step forward and score.

They just weren't getting dangerous enough shots on Garnett.

Mark Hurtubise was a threat for Panthers, and he hit the outside of the post in the third period.

Occasionally Steelers were creative - O'Connor's clever through pass delivered a half chance for Stefan Della Rover.

But generally, their offence was smothered - Notts fans standing and applauding at one point to recognise their defensive commitment.

Eventually, Steelers got it right with three minutes on the clock, Mark Matheson blasted from the top of the right circle, for 1-1 Owens screening the goalie.

And they won the game in overtime, Justin Buzzeo doing the hard yards down the flank before Josh Pitt scored the winner.

Man of the match: O'Connor.