Sheffield Steelers’ smash and grab win at Manchester Storm

Steelers scorched back from 4-1 down to plunder a dramatic overtime victory at bottom club Manchester.

It was a roller-coaster of a Roses clash, and proved that Sheffield can still pull something special out of the bag.

Paul Thompson - Sheffield Steelers coach

Paul Thompson - Sheffield Steelers coach

Paul Thompson’s side had let in three goals in less than four minutes in the second period.

That seemed to give Storm, who had chalked up just eight previous regulation victories in 28 attempts, all the rope they needed to throttle Steelers’ New Year ambitions.

Yet Sheffield scored two in 27 seconds in the last session and Ben O’Connor’s second goal of the night hauled them into overtime, which was settled by Levi Nelson.

Sheffield, without Mathieu Roy and Colton Fretter, conceded first when US import Paul Phillips hunted down the puck before shooting a speculative shot in off Marek Pinc.

Jason Hewitt

Jason Hewitt

Two minutes into the middle section Mancunian Jason Hewitt equalised for Steelers.

But then his side caved in defensively, conceding two in 35 seconds from Adam Harding and Patrik Valcak.

With Cullen Eddy’s slip leaving Steelers vulnerable, the Czech forward Valcak made it 4-1 at 26;00.

Zack Fitzgerald livened things up for Sheffield with a mid-match scrap against Michael Folkes.

But Storm could have made it five when Luke Salazar struck the pipework.

Thompson moved his centreman around on his three lines in a last period, last-gasp attempt at getting back into the game. Yet it was two defencemen who clawed Sheffield back.

O’Connor’s point shot halved the deficit at 45:15, and Russ Moyer banged home another 27 seconds later to make it 4-3 in the home side’s favour.

Momentum had changed hands and Storm were now in the business of stopping anything coming to their blue line.

With Pinc on the bench, Steelers went for bust..and O’Connor answered the call with a 4-4 equaliser with 100 seconds remaining.

Fredrick Vestberg failed to bury a penalty shot in overtime, but Nelson struck the late, late winner at 62;48.

*Steelers, now back in second position in the League, host Storm at the Arena on Saturday at 7pm.