Ice Hockey: Sheffield Steelers 4 Braehead Clan 3

Mathieu Roy celebrates a goal against Braehead Clan
Mathieu Roy celebrates a goal against Braehead Clan
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If Steelers succesfully defend their title this season they will have reason to recall a goal from a player who won’t be hitting the net very often this year.

On Sunday, after trailing much of the home game to Braehead, Jason Hewitt stepped up to find an equaliser with eight minutes later.

Chris Lawrence in action for Sheffield Steelers against Braehead Clan

Chris Lawrence in action for Sheffield Steelers against Braehead Clan

The British Bulldog’s goal triggered a wave of assaults and a fourth strike from Chris Lawrence, his second game-winner of the weekend.

It had been tight - and an under-strength Steelers had to fight tooth and nail to avoid a second home loss in a week to Scottish opponents.

Clan had plenty of energy, with Brendan Brooks taking every opportunity to fly into the slot.

Alex Leavitt failed to bury a pass from Matt Haywood, the Doncaster-born Clan winger then injuring himself after falling face-first into the back of the net. The away pressure continued with Scott Pitt firing over and Plante made a smart save from Brooks.

Sheffield took the lead when Jeff Legue’s shot was parried by goalie Chris Holt, but the persistant Steeler buried his second chance for his 250th Elite League goal.

Thirty seconds later the Scots made it 1-1. They won a face off and no Steeler got close enough to Nathan McIver who had time to measure up and slap home at 10;50.

Sheffield forged onwards with Legue teeing up Jason Hewitt, but the next goal was at the other end -36-year-old Canadian Brooks smashing a Plante rebound home.

The home side began to dominate, but it wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard.Then they endured a crazy few minutes of error-strewn play. A Plante bungle with the puck almost gifted Ben Davies a goal, Legue lost the puck and for ex team-mate Stefan Meyer to make it 1-3, and then Russ Moyer lost his footing on point on a Power Play.

But Lawrence scored his fourth in three games to cut the Scots’ lead at 38;21 with an expert tip-in from Jace Coyle.

Cullen Eddy and Roy - who was logging huge minutes - couldn’t execute chances but at 52;24 Hewitt pounced on a smart pass from O’Connor to make it 3-3.

With penalty shots looming Lawrence fired home the winner at 58;35.

*Steelers overcame another game where they went behind first to beat Nottingham Panthers for the second Saturday on the bounce.

Much-baited ex-Panther Lawrence scored the game-winning goal

Stephen Schultz’s initial goal was cancelled out by Mathieu Roy’s leveller.

A brilliant goal from makeshift wing Rod Sarich put the visitors ahead before defenceman-Bryan Schmidt made it 2-2.

Lawrence, the lanky forward with a predatory instincts of Ed Courtenay, grabbed the decisive goal.

“I thought every man did their job” said coach Paul Thompson.

“The decision to go with 5 D and 4 pairs of wingers was made because I felt we had got away from the speed we created in the CHL and early cup games, I needed to get the jump and energy back. It worked tonight, every line created scoring chances, more than we had done for a while.”

*Steelers owner Tony Smith says he considered taking over Sheffield Steeldogs but has decided against it as he wanted to concentrate solely on the Elite League club.

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