Nottingham Panthers v Sheffield Steelers: Rok Stojanovic shines as Steelers pick up another Challenge Cup win

Sheffield Steelers' defence was as solid as a "Rok" again as the team chalked up a highly efficient 3-1 win at Nottingham Panthers.

Sunday, 14th November 2021, 9:27 am
Robert Dowd and Brendan Connolly in the heat of battle as SHeffield Steelers beat Nottingham Panthers

Goaltender Rok Stojanovic made 43 saves.

Aaron Fox's side has been miserly in giving-up goals recently and Saturday's penultimate game of the Challenge Cup qualifying group was no exception.

One Martin Látal scored Steelers' third, just inside the final period, Sheffield did a professional job consolidating their lead,

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Nottingham can say they were unlucky in that they struck the pipework on occasions.

Their coach Tim Wallace said he was proud of his team's performance: "How many crossbar and posts did we have? It is a game of centimeters"

But Sheffield are in good shape with John Armstrong back from injury and Marco Vallerand rested for Sunday's league game against Cardiff Devils.

Panthers v Steelers' games routinely include some physicality and Aaron Thow was first in the box for a roughing call after an incident involving Tanner Eberle.

Half way through the powerplay Robert Dowd's easy finish from the left circle gave Sheffield the lead, with Kevin Schulze and Anthony DeLuca featuring in the build-up.

Sheffield had other power-play opportunities, one of the odd-man advantages following a tripping call by J.C. Brassard on Matias Sointu.

Panthers couldn't find a way past Stojanovic though and the Orange Army was happy to see the first-period clean sheet.

Jeremy Welsh provided some dangerous moments in Steelers' defensive zone as Nottingham continued to try and claw their way back.

It was mini-series Steelers centreman Matthew Myers who scored for Panthers to level at 27:42 - profiting from a power play after DeLuca sat out a roughing minor.

Welsh struck the post as they pressed forward but just before the 40-minute break, Sointu marked his return from illness absence with a goal from Evan Mosey's feed for 2-1.

Sheffield needed to put some daylight between them and the home side and at 43:50, the speedy Látal did just that, with the man of the match Sointu assisting.

The bulk of the 5,831 crowd went home disappointed that Nottingham had failed to breach Steelers' impeccable defence again.

Stojanovic skated off the ice with a 97.67 per cent save rate.