Ben O’Connor heads back to Sheffield Steelers

HELLO AGAIBN: Ben O'Connor has returned to the Sheffield Steelers. Picture; Dean Woolley.
HELLO AGAIBN: Ben O'Connor has returned to the Sheffield Steelers. Picture; Dean Woolley.
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DEFENCEMAN Ben O’Connor says he cannot wait to resume his Sheffield Steelers’ career after making a surprise return to South Yorkshire.

The GB international joined Swedish club Leksands IF in the summer but, for personal reasons, is heading back to the UK after a couple of months away. He will be in the Steelers’ line-up against Nottingham Panthers at Sheffield Arena on Saturday night.

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News of the 29-year-old’s return should prove a timely boost for a Steelers side which has struggled in his absence, currently sitting second-bottom of the Elite League standings and with a flagging power play, of which O’Connor was a pivotal part during his previous spell at the club.

There will also be a new coach to take instruction from for O’Connor, with Tom Barrasso having been appointed to replace Paul Thompson, who resigned last month.

O’Connor played for Leksands on Friday night and is due back in Sheffield on Saturday. He posted one goal and one assist in 11 games for the Swedish club, who he made his debut for against the Steelers in a pre-season exhibition game back in early August.

“I’ve enjoyed my time in Sweden and thank everyone at the club for all they have done for me,” said O’Connor. “I’m thrilled to be returning to Sheffield and can’t wait to hook up with everyone once I arrive back home.”