Video: Jordan Owens on his surprising switch at Sheffield Steelers

Things were very different, the last time Sheffield Steeler Jordan Owens played on defence.

Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 6:02 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 6:08 am
Career extending  move for Owens
Career extending move for Owens

He was a 24-year-old icing for Grand Rapids Griffins in Michigan, USA.

At the same time, Ben Simon was Steelers' coach in a team featuring the likes of Talbot, Legue, Sarich, Hewitt and Thomas.

Career extending move for Owens

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Fast forward to last weekend and Owens, who has made a career on the wing, was called upon to again take on the disciplined role of a blueliner.

His performance, after Saturday's home win, was commended by his coach Tom Barrasso.

Talking after the Milton Keynes victory, Owens, now 32, recalled how he’d played a single period as a D-man in the AHL.

"I do enjoy this challenge not only physically but mentally, it is a totally different mindset from forward" he told The Star

After playing forward "for years and years it is almost like you are on autopilot in some situations.

"Hockey has a lot of repetition and patterns that repeat themselves. Forwards getting the puck in and going to the net, its cycling pucks, and D has their own patterns...to relearn them now it is kind of fun."

It was not without its challenges, though, particularly getting the positional element of his contribution on par and avoiding big mistakes.

"The guys have been joking around with me all week, that I had just added three or four years to my career" he said, adding: "I am not going to jump ahead of myself!"

Steelers lost the Sunday game at Belfast Giants, a defeat that didn't exactly shock many Sheffield fans.

Barrasso said: "We were playing a rested team. With the travel schedule we had, it was always going to be difficult.

"When players get mentally tired, details of the game are the first casualty.

"We made too many mental mistakes to beat a quality team."

The 5-1 loss saw Sheffield fall to seventh spot.

They have one last chance to improve on that league position - their final game of the regular season comes at MKL on Sunday.

Lightning have games on the Friday and Saturday - so Steelers will be the rested team that weekend.