Ben O'Connor frustrated by bad luck for Steelers - but pleased by team's high scoring season

Ben O'Connor is piling up the points for Sheffield Steelers like he normally does - despite the fact he appears to be jinxed when it comes to actually scoring.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 11:29 am
Ben O'Connor in full flight. Pic by Dean Woolley.

The super-talented, offensive-defenceman was denied with a clear opportunity in Wednesday's 4-0 win over Glasgow Clan in the Challenge Cup semi final.

And that's pretty much the way it's gone all year, other than an empty-netter against Fife Flyers back in mid October.

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In last season's under-performing side, he bagged seven league goals. He netted twice as much in the year prior, 10 in 2016-17 and 13 the previous season.

O'Connor is mildly irritated by the current situation - but is more than compensated by the team's high-scoring, high-achieving season to date.

He said: "It is pretty frustrating; I must have smashed a mirror or something!"

The GB regular admitted that in Wednesday's game a chance fell in which the "back door (was) wide was open and he (goalie Patrick Killeen) gets a toe on it.

"But we have got such a great team - we have got great guys who are legit goalscorers so get them the puck, they'll put it in the net, makes it little bit easier!"

O'Connor, 31, added that he did not care if he scores or not against Nottingham Panthers in league play on Saturday night, as long as they win.

Panthers lost out on the chance to play Sheffield in the Cup final in March, following a narrow loss against Cardiff Devils.

Would O'Connor have preferred to have faced Nottingham in the final?

"It doesn't matter, we have just got to focus on our game" he said, adding that he thought it was going to be a classic encounter.

The last time Steelers won the trophy was in 2002-3 when O'Connor was skating out for junior side Sheffield Rapiers - a time where he said he made great friends and kept great memories.

After that, he left for Canada, and London Junior Knights which was a formative time in his career-building.

It all feels a long time to present day for O'Connor, who has chalked up 26 league assists, so far including six points in his last seven outings.

The player said he was relieved Steelers had put on a professional job against Clan, midweek, after not hitting peak form the previous weekend.

Now they want to take Wednesday's clinical form over 60 minutes into the weekend.

Steelers will have half of the tickets for the Challenge Cup final game against Cardiff Devils on March 8, it has been confirmed.

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