Nottingham Panthers 2 Sheffield Steelers 3 (OT) – First strike goes the way of the Steelers

Antony DeLuca scores the winner for Sheffield Steelers in the shoot-out against Nottingham at the National Ice Centre. Picture: panthers Images/EIHL
Antony DeLuca scores the winner for Sheffield Steelers in the shoot-out against Nottingham at the National Ice Centre. Picture: panthers Images/EIHL
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SHEFFIELD STEELERS twice came from behind before prevailing in a shoot-out to beat arch-rivals Nottingham Panthers 3-2 at the National Ice Centre.

The two resume hostilities at Sheffield Arena today (7pm) with the Steelers looking to close the gap further on third-placed Panthers.

Wins yesterday for Guildford Flames and Glasgow Clan ensured they remain ahead of the South Yorkshire club in the overall Elite League standings ahead of today’s round of games.

After a goalless opening period, Alex Guptill was on hand to put the Panthers ahead at 24.53, a lead that remained until captain Jonathan Phillips tied things up at 45.51.

The Panthers, looking to keep up with top two Belfast and Cardiff, took the lead again, however, when Jaynen Rissling put the hosts ahead for a second time at 53.54.

But a slashing minor on Guptill gave the Steelers a chance to level, which they duly did – Mark Matheson firing home on the power play less than two minutes later.

Overtime failed to produce a winner, prompting a shoot-out which required six rounds to determine who took home the extra point on offer.

Justin Kovacs scored for the Panthers, with Rob Dowd the only reply for the Steelers until Anthony DeLuca stepped up to slot home the winning shot.