Sheffield Steelers goalie can lead team to League title

Ben O’Connor believes Sheffield fans will see the very best of goaltender Marek Pinc as Steelers head down the home-straight in search of the Elite League title.

The pair were on rival rosters in Kazakhstan’s top league for much of the 2013-15 seasons.

And the defenceman is certain 36-year-old Pinc’s experience and resurgent form will be a key factor in the pursuit of honours.

“I told Thommo (coach Paul Thompson) when he brought him in that his team in Kazakhstan and my team were always in the play off finals, battling for first and second. What you saw (at Nottingham Panthers and against Coventry Blaze last weekend) was the way he played in the Play Offs in Kazakhstan” he said.

“He is a veteran goalie and when it comes to this crunch time he is solid for us. And that is what we need.”

Pinc has backstopped his team to victories in four out of the last five games and there is a renewed sense of confidence in him and the team’s chances of winning the League - especially if Cardiff Devils slip up tonight at Belfast Giants.

Ben O Connor - having fun for Sheffield Steelers

Ben O Connor - having fun for Sheffield Steelers

“Belfast and Cardiff are two very good teams who battle hard, it is a toss of the coin” says GB regular O’Connor, 27, who scored two piledrivers to delight the Arena crowd last Sunday.

“Who knows? They have two good goalies and two good teams, so we have just got to focus on our game and if we win out and they win out we have got to tip our hat and say well done.

“They have got a really tough run-in so we have got to focus on our games and see what happens.

“We are playing some good hockey right now.

“Everybody has stepped up their game. We are committing to team defence and playing hard down the stretch.”