Match-winner Daine Todd enjoying life in the EIHL with Sheffield Steelers
Daine Todd underlined his value to Sheffield Steelers with a dramatic winner with 14 seconds of sudden death overtime left at Guildford Flames.
Sunday's shut-out victory - the side has conceded only once in three games - shows not only the team's defensive ability but an eye for winning goals too.
Todd stepped up when he was needed most with a wrap-around goal.
That one decisive act ensured Sheffield moved five points clear at the top of the table.
The 34-year-old from Red Deer, Alberta, has made a seamless transition into EIHL hockey.
He missed out on a season during the Covid lockdown but is making up for it with two goals and 11 assists.
The skater's success is mainly due to his skills, energy and offensive inclination.
But the fact he is happy with his new start in the UK is clearly a positive.
"It's been good, right from the start I have been pretty settled here," the Canadian said.
"The organisation and the team in the room have made it pretty easy. Things have been good here and I am enjoying it and my family is too."
Todd's instinct to probe forward is underpinned by a fine understanding with his blue line partner Adrian Saxrud-Danielsen.
"He is a great D-man," said Todd.
"Obviously when you play with someone new you get to know their tendencies out there. The first two games we were getting comfortable but it didn't take long.
"He is a good player, a good two-way guy, plays a real good strong defensive game but he has got some offence too so I can't complain about playing with him."
Todd, whose last team was Iserlohn Roosters in Germany, often resembles a right winger.
"I started my career as a forward, I played my junior career as a forward, a little bit at university too and then made the transition back to defence, so it was a bit of a learning curve.
"I have always considered myself a bit of an offensive d-man but try to play an all-rounded game, just try to be a good puck-moving d-man if I can."
Defence always comes first, he said.
"At the higher levels you have got to play good defence and I try to consider myself as a good two-way guy."
Todd revealed that there were a number of factors as to why he didn’t play in the lockdown-hit season of 2020-21, one of them that he was rehabilitating after a knee injury the year prior.
He now has a new lease of hockey life.
"I am excited to be back in a dressing room and playing hockey again."