SHEFFIELD STEELERS stretched their Elite League regular season winning streak to seven games with a hard-fought win at Nottingham Panthers.
The long-standing rivals resume hostilities today at the FlyDSA Arena (4pm) with Aaron Fox’s team further buoyed by maintaining the two-point gap over second-placed Cardiff Devils, who won 4-3 at Coventry Blaze.
Captain Jonathan Phillips fired in what proved to be the game-winner at the National Ice Centre, although it is Brendan Connolly who continues to attract the plaudits, his assist on that goal stretching his points-scoring streak to a remarkable 20 games.
It was only after a goalless first period that the game sprung into life in the middle section, Adam Deutsch shooting from the boards for Georgs Golovkovs to tip-in past Tomas Duba from in front of the net at 24.46.
The Steelers were level four minutes later, though, the goal coming in similar fashion to the home side’s opener when Janne Kolehmainen tipped Aaron Brocklehurst’s shot past Kevin Carr after Michael Davies had won the initial face-off.
It was Davies who proved key once again seven minutes later when he scrambled the puck home to put the visitors ahead.
The killer blow for the hosts came with just over 10 minutes remaining, Connolly ensuring his points-scoring streak continued when his face-off win saw the puck reach Davey Phillips who dashed down the right boards before squaring for his captain to fire home from 10 yards out.
Former Steelers’ defenceman Mark Matheson fired past Duba from just inside the blue line at 55.02, but the Steelers saw the game out.