Five Star defenceman leads Sheffield Steelers to glory

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Colton Saucerman put in a five-star performance to drive Sheffield Steelers a step closer to the EIHL title.

The defenceman scored a goal and four assists as the league leaders swept past Coventry Blaze, 6-3.

His influence pervaded the game, much to the frustration of the majority of the 2,160 home fans.

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And he pretty much made sure the whole weekend was not the banana skin it could have been.

Colton Saucerman celebrates his five points v Coventry BlazeColton Saucerman celebrates his five points v Coventry Blaze
Colton Saucerman celebrates his five points v Coventry Blaze

With Robert Dowd, Cole Shudra, Sam Jones and Brandon Whistle on international duty, Sheffield had to amend and condense their game-plan.

The win at Coventry, following Saturday's 3-0 home shut out of Manchester Storm, showed they successfully dodged the banana skin and retained their position as 14 points adrift of second-place Cardiff Devils.

In Saucerman, who played more minutes than anyone on the team on Sunday, and Kevin Tansey (three goal weekend) they have two players who typify the spirit of a winning Steeler team.

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It is hard to forsee how these two team-mates and their pals won't be parading trophies at Sheffield Arena in a few weeks to come.

Kevin Tansey celebrates at CoventryKevin Tansey celebrates at Coventry
Kevin Tansey celebrates at Coventry

Coach Aaron Fox had been concerned about the loss of the GB quartet, but was thankful for Jonathan Phillips back from Steeldogs for the weekend and to have emerged with maximum points.

Fox now has to balance the need to rest his squad as well as prepare for Wednesday's game against Guildford Flames.

Steelers had an early jolt in the Midlands as Danny Kristo (time) put the home side ahead after 83 seconds.

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But Sheffield have shown before they have the maturity and mindset to come back from adversity.

Jonathan Phillips eyes on a move for SteelersJonathan Phillips eyes on a move for Steelers
Jonathan Phillips eyes on a move for Steelers

And quickly too.

Mitchell Balmas equalised on six minutes before his linemate Marco Vallerand gave the visitors a lead they were never to lose.

Acting skipper Kevin Tansey scored his second goal in two nights to make it 3-1.

Ex Steeler Kristo helped engineer a potential comeback goal for Ian McNulty but Saucerman made it 4-2 before the second interval.

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Steelers were tiring, and not at their best, and they were put to the test when McNulty doubled his scoring output for 4-3.

But they finished the game emphatically with Tansey scoring on the Power Play, his first Steeler brace, and Patrick Watling making use of an empty-net for Steelers' 155th league goal of a so-far comfortable campaign.

Meanwhile, Great Britain are through to the Final Qualifying for the 2026 Winter Olympics with a 7-4 victory over Romania in Cardiff, Jones and ex Steeler Liam Kirk amongst the scorers.