Hat-trick hero Josh delivers Sheffield Steelers’ first win of the season

Chris Lawrence dishes out some punishment on Saturday. Picture by Hayley Roberts
Chris Lawrence dishes out some punishment on Saturday. Picture by Hayley Roberts

Steelers are off and running after recording their first win of the new League season.

After disappointing 9,252 Sheffield Arena fans with a 3-2 loss on Saturday, they won 5-2 in the reverse fixture at Milton Keynes Lightning.

Josh Pitt was the hero, with a hat-trick, to add to two assists from the night before.

Three of Steelers goals were on the power play - a welcome relief after the speical team had misfired the night before.

Sheffield had to come from behind at MKL, but mastered the ice ahnd the scoreboard in the third session. It restores belief after two previous patchy displays.

Winger Robert Dowd's  upper-body injury in the League opener on Saturday meant his place on the first unit went to Justin Buzzeo. Just like the previous night, it was ex-Steelers who triggered the scoreboard, Eric Neiley finishing off from Tim Wallace, a powerplay goal.

Steelers knew all about MKL goalie Patrick Killeen, from his Ritten/Renon days and he illustrated his skills by blocking shots from Josh McFadden and Ryan Martinelli.

But with Wallace in the box for tripping, Sheffield's PP clicked at 17;21, with Evan McGrath scoring from Jordan Owens and Aaron Johnson. A subsequent 5-on-3 PP failed to deliver, though.

The Buckhamshire home crowd were witnessing a lot of hard labour, but their team's forward play was frustrated by four consecutive saves from Jackson Whistle.

The middle section of the match had been strewn with penalties for either side, but ended goalless.

That all changed in 14 seconds at the start of the third, with centreman Pitt putting Steelers ahead for the first time and that being cancelled out by an unassisted strike from David Norris.

But Pitt got in the act again, the 26-year-old Canadian making it 3-2 at 44:09 after nimble work from Buzzeo on a delayed penalty. Evan McGrath then scored his first of the domestic season at 49;16 and a fifth was a whisker away when Stefan Della Rovere hit the pipework.

Steelers were not done yet, with man of the match Pitt enjoying the first Sheffield hat trick of 2018-19, at 56;51.