Robert Dowd’s overtime winner rescued the weekend for Sheffield Steelers, their 4-3 win against Cardiff Devils making up for the previous night’s disappointment at Nottingham Panthers.
The 27-year-old British forward pounced just over a minute into the extra period, his fourth goal of the Elite League campaign denying a dogged Cardiff team, who deservedly took a point back home to South Wales.
Ben O’Connor opened the scoring for the hosts at 13.51, but Devils’ player-coach Andrew Lord levelled just under three minutes later.
In a second period dominated by penalties, it was the visitors who gained an early edge when Joey Martin put them ahead shorthanded at 20.44.
Levi Nelson levelled on the powerplay 21 seconds later before Mike Duco gave the Steelers the lead for a second time at 25.44.
Carl Hudson hauled the visitors level just over two minutes into the third and that is how it stayed until Dowd’s welcome overtime strike.
On Saturday, a poor second period ultimately saw the Steelers suffer at the National Ice Centre.
The visitors were 2-0 ahead going into the middle section thanks to two goals in five first-period minutes from Luke Ferrara – his first of the season coming at 11.41 – and Tyler Mosienko.
Juraj Kolnik halved the deficit at 25.00 before Mathieu Roy restored Steelers’ two-goal lead 59 seconds later.
But three goals in as many minutes from Matthew Myers, David Clarke and Andy Bohmbach gave the Panthers a 4-3 lead at the next interval.
That advantage doubled early in the third through Evan Mosey’s 43rd-minute effort, only for Cullen Eddy to bring Steelers back to within one at 47.46.
But Myers’s second at 52.12 and a late empty net strike from Logan Macmillan sealed the win for the home side.
In the English Premier League, Sheffield Steeldogs edged a tight derby against league newcomers Hull Pirates, who in Shane Smith share the same owner as their Yorkshire rivals.
An entertaining game was only decided with eight seconds remaining when Arnoldas Bosas stepped up to fire home a penalty shot after being fouled when presented with a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
The Pirates - still without a regulation win under Dominic Osman - were unable to bounce back from their 5-4 defeat in Sheffield when problems with the ice at Hull Arena saw the visit from Bracknell Bees called off. The Steeldogs were probably left wishing the same fate had befallen them after they were walloped 13-3 at Telford Tigers.