Sheffield Steelers’ Evan McGrath compliments his linemates after he climbed to number 2 in scoring charts

Evan McGrath is an example of how perseverence and dedication can help turn around personal and team form.

His first match with Sheffield Steelers saw him selected as a first line forward who scored three points in a win over Leksands of Sweden - a friendly opposition which then had a certain Ben O'Connor in their ranks.

Evan McGrath on Steelers ice, picture by Dean Woolley

Evan McGrath on Steelers ice, picture by Dean Woolley

Like the rest of the team, the Canadian has had his ups and down, going on two barren patches without a goal and suffering an injury which slowed down his progress.

Now, on Steelers' third line, he is the team's second-top point scorer and has posted 11 points in his last 13 games.

The 280-game AHL forward acknowledges it had been going well for him and feels he has become a stronger asset in the second half of the season.

" My goal is always to produce and do what I can to help the team” he said. "I feel like things are going better for me, personally, and I've just got to try and continue to do that for the team's success.

"When you are at my age you want a little more team success. It is definitely nice to contribute, I am playing with some great wingers that give me the opportunity to do that in Jono (Phillips) and (Anthony) DeLuca. They are really skilled really fun to play with. It makes my job a lot easier when you are playing with guys like that."

However, McGrath admits team-inconsistency has been a "tough thing to swallow at times...we feel we come out one game and then we're a little soft the next game."

The players were striving to succeed in the remaining games, be strong and "try give ourselves the best chance to win every game. It is going to be a hard stretch but I think we are going to be prepared to try to do whatever we have got to do."

Over the season, no fewer than 33 players have represented Steelers.

"There have been a lot of guys going in and out," he remarked.

"As a team we have not had the success that we had hoped for. It has been a little bit of an odd year with that, but that's, unfortunately, the game and the business at times.

"We have had some great players come in and some great players leave.

"It is always tough to see friends go but at the same time we are here to win and that's what we are trying to do now."

The player said he had enjoyed Sheffield saying it was "somewhere I hope I can come back to and hopefully have success with."