Sheffield Steelers v Dundee Stars: Steelers pick up nail-biting home win over scrappy Stars

The world was a different place, the last time Dundee Stars won in Sheffield.

Sunday, 6th February 2022, 9:11 am

Their 5-2 road win on 15 February, 2020 was before the pandemic's grip on the nation truly tightened. Steelers had just two more home league games before the season was guillotined.

With the UK ice hockey now safely emerging from the Covid era, Steelers are chasing the league title and needed to put Stars away on Saturday night.

That they did, but only after a nail-biting 5-4 victory win at the Arena.

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Assistant manager Carter Beston-Will said it had been a messy performance at times.

He said he wasn't a "huge fan" of a boarding offence committed on Davey Phillips by Connor Sills, which saw the Sheffield d-man's head jerk backwards, painfully.

Dundee are a team that scraps for every puck. They have won in Belfast and Cardiff this season and kept a clean sheet in the first period.

There was wastefulness at both ends, Tanner Eberle shot wide after a Michael Poirier giveaway and Martin Latal backhanded off target from a sweet Evan Mosey feed.

Sheffield Steelers' Tanner Eberle celebrates scoring against Dundee Stars

Toms Rutkis had Dundee's best chance, he too should have buried a chance from between the circles.

The visiting goalie did well to defy Latal and Robert Dowd on one of Sheffield's two power plays before the break.

Stara had a surprise up their sleeve after the first interval.

While Eberle scored on the powerplay the Scots hit back strongly, Rutkis and Charlie Combs both beating Barry Brust in an 81-seconds spell.

Steelers reacted with vigour to going 2-1 behind.

Evan Mosey finished off Daine Todd's fine work to equalise before Eberle tucked away a penalty shot, at 37:53.

It had been a five-goal middle period - and there was more hectic action to follow.

Philippe and Combs cut through the centre of Sheffield's defence to make it 3-3.

And while Adrian Saxrud-Danielsen's blue line shot put Aaron Fox's team ahead again, Rutkis rubbed out that lead with his second of the evening.

The horrible boarding hit on Phillips saw Sills take a minor penalty and the power play had just been completed when Matias Sointu got the vital touch just above the crease for 5-4.

Steelers, who had won their last 10 home games, managed the rest of the fixture to collect both points.