Who will be Sheffield Steelers top points scorer this season now a real battle is on?

Team comradery is essential at any club - but a little competition within the ranks doesn't do any harm, either.

Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 17:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 17:02 pm
Evan McGrath, Anthony DeLuca and Jonathan Phillips

And while Sheffield Steelers aren't renowned for their goalscoring this season - six of the other 10 teams have scored more than them - there is an interesting little tussle going on between the club's chief point scorers.

Or to put it another way, centreman Evan McGrath has caught up with centreman Josh Pitt.

Josh Pitt battles for the puck last weekend

The pair are tied on 46 points - Pitt having played four games more.

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McGrath has enjoyed a growth spurt in stats in recent times: in the last 15 games, he's averaged a point a match.

Pitt, who has been leading scorer since converting the first Steeler goal of the season against Nottingham Panthers in September, has had his first lean spell of the season, going four games without a point.

Pitt is the more overt marksman of the pair, with 21 plus 25 assists. Only Robert Dowd comes close to him, with 17, having played 19 fewer league and cup games.

McGrath has posted 14 goals but can boast a club-leading 32 assists.

More importantly, he has brought the best out of third line colleagues Anthony DeLuca and Jonathan Phillips. DeLuca has been putting in man-of-the-match displays while captain Phillips has scored more goals already than in any season since 2013-14.

McGrath, Pitt and the rest will put the stats to one side on Saturday when they lead Steelers' attack-lines against Belfast Giants.

Steelers have lost half of their last eight home games and want to put wind under their sales before they travel Cardiff Devils on Sunday. The Giants encounter is equally dangerous.

Belfast enjoyed a dramatic double over the Devils last weekend, a feat which moved them into first place in the standings, having clawed back an 11 point deficit on Devils in recent weeks.