Brad Day, the 22-year-old second string goaltender from Huddersfield, showed some true Yorkshire grit as Steelers ended their away League campaign with a 3-2 win at Nottingham Panthers.
The netminder was handed the starting role after an injury to Ervins Mustukovs.
The youngser showed nerves of steel and a fine degree of maturity as two Colton Fretter goals and one from Levi Nelson secured the win.
Nottingham who lost 3-1 at home to Manchester Storm on Wednesday, must have been pleasantly surprised to see Day in the starter’s role.
No disrespect to the greenhorn prospect, more that the injured Mustukovs, is the joint best netminder in the Elite divison.
Day had to fish the puck out of his net after four minutes when Brad Moran directed a play to David Clarke to pot at 4:36.
Steelers pressure told when Andreas Valdix and Rob Dowd engineered a move which led to Nelson banging in a rebound for 1-1 at 17:05.
Former Steeldogs man Day made three good blocks to retain parity before Steelers took the lead again.
Fretter got on the scoresheet for the first time this month with a looping shot that took its time to get over the line at 24:40. Less than four minutes later, Panthers were level again. Notts’ top points-scorer Stephen Schultz cashed in for 2-2.
The game hung very much in the balance with the Valdix line causing havoc and Schultz sending a puck off the bar. But Fretter was on the mark again, this time on the Power Play, executing brilliantly at 38:24.
Corey Neilson’s team certainly didn’t need two home defeats on the trot and it needed a Day save to stop Logan MacMillan from equalising. Day was showing a real presence in the Sheffield goal.
Steelers, looking for their 34th league win of the season, almost grabbed a Power Play opportunity to make the match safe with Valdix and Roy pressing forward.
Wiikman pulled in the dying stages and Panthers thought they had scored, but the ref ruled the puck had not crossed the line.
The win sent a message - Steelers are in Play off mood.
Friday 24th March
Nottingham Panthers 2 Sheffield Steelers 3
Saturday 25th March
Braehead Clan v Edinburgh Capitals – 7.00pm
Cardiff Devils v Belfast Giants – 7.00pm
Fife Flyers v Dundee Stars – 7.15pm
Sunday 26th March
Cardiff Devils v Belfast Giants – 6.00pm
Dundee Stars v Fife Flyers – 6.30pm
Edinburgh Capitals v Braehead Clan – 6.00pm
Manchester Storm v Nottingham Panthers – 5.30pm
Sheffield Steelers v Coventry Blaze – 5.00pm