Steelers make it seven wins from eight with hard-fought win over Dundee Stars

Sheffield Steelers chalked up their seventh win out of eight matches with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Dundee Stars.

By Bob Westerdale
Sunday, 17th October 2021, 7:39 pm
Goal celebration for Sheffield at Dundee Pic Derek Black
Goal celebration for Sheffield at Dundee Pic Derek Black

While they couldn't add to the goals they despatched inside the first nine minutes, the two were enough to win the match.

Much credit must go to netminder Rok Stojanovic, who frustrated Stars offence time after time.

Sheffield appeared to have travelled well straight from the start.

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Stojanovic, rested the night before, dealt comfortably with some early pressure at Dundee Ice Arena and then watched Robert Dowd put the travellers ahead on the four minute mark, scoring from close-in following build-up from Evan Mosey and Keaton Ellerby.

Dundee have a young team and they had been late to bed after being shut out 3-0 at Guildford Flames on Saturday.

And they were lucky not to have conceded another, when Martin Látal, pinged Adam Morrison's post.

The Czech winger was not totally denied though, at 8:55 he figured in a move that saw defenceman Adrian Saxrud-Danielsen score his first goal for Sheffield.

Morrison did well to stop Anthony DeLuca, back from suspension, as Sheffield's power play got to work as first Gabriel Desjardins and then Kyle Haas were sent to the box.

The interval gave Dundee chance to re-group and they found their rhythm, popping in a few shots on Sheffield's former Slovenian international goalie.

But they could not unlock Steelers' penalty kill with John Armstrong twice serving minor infringements.

They broke through eventually, however on a five-on-five play, with 6ft 4ins winger Connor Sills hitting the net at 35:55.

A competitive moment in the Dundee v Steelers game pic by Derek Black

Aaron Fox's men had yielded a penalty-strewn period, it was imperative now that they played smart defensive hockey in the remaining 20 minutes.

Stojanovic certainly responded to that need, he kept his focus as a number of shots came his way.

Desperate Dundee pulled goaltender Morrison for the extra attacker, in the final two minutes but it was to no avail.

*Coach Fox was relieved when Tanner Eberle pronounced himself injury-free, before Saturday's nail-biting 4-3 Challenge Cup win at home to Nottingham Panthers.

Marco Vallerand passes the puck against Dundee; pic by Derek Black

The forward dragged Sheffield back into the game at 0-2 down and then won the qualifying round tie with an overtime clincher.

Robert Dowd and Marco Vallerand scored the other goals in the anxiety-producing 'derby.'

The majority of the 7,663 crowd could only breathe easily when Eberle struck again at 62:55.

Fox revealed that Eberle had only re-started training on Friday. The number 10 then walked into the coach's office and said: "No pain; I'm playing."

Barry Brust backstopped and his calmness and puck distribution started to reinforce the trust of the Orange Army.

Sheffield face Nottingham again on Saturday, in the same competition. Then Fife Flyers become the first Scottish team at the Arena for some time, on Sunday.