Video: Sheffield Steelers 3-2 Leksands (final score)

Here's your first peek at the new generation Sheffield Steelers

Fifteen new players were in the line-up for the opening challenge game of the pre-season against the Swedish second division side Leksands.

The one who caught the eye most was the outstanding Jackson whistle in Steelers goal.

But all the players played their part in a fascinating 2-2 opening period.

There was almost an explosive start with both sides having shots on goal within 18 seconds.

Steelers, in their first game with a new team, were rusty, clearly.

Jordan Owens - pic by Hayley Roberts

Jordan Owens - pic by Hayley Roberts

Josh McFadden hammered the puck into the back of team-mate Ryan Martinelli, the rebound almost slipping past his own goalie, Whistle.

And Wilde Bröms had far too much room to crash a shot home off the underside of the bar (0-1.)

Whistle made a great save from Thomas Valkvæ Olsen but the Swedes were hit by a five-on-three power play, Jordan Owens scoring the home side's first goal of the campaign to level.

Sheffield conceded a short-handed goal from Anton Karlsson but deserved to go in level at the first break (2-2) when Robert Dowd showed composure and accuracy with the equaliser past Axel Brage.

Leksands at iceSheffield

Leksands at iceSheffield

Lecksands dominated the puck in the middle of the game.

But some resolute defending - Davey Phillips executing his second big hit of the night - and excellent goaltending from Whistle ensured the score remained the same.

The home crowd had reacted generously with applause every time the former Belfast Giant defied the attackers.

There is going to be quite a bond, there, it seems.

Sheffield Steelers: class of 2018-19. Pic Dean Woolley

Sheffield Steelers: class of 2018-19. Pic Dean Woolley

Calle Själin came closest for the Swedes, he jinked through the middle but his shot hit the outside of the post.

Whistle carried on where he left off in the third, with a blinding save from Ben O'Connor.

While at the other end, Eberle was denied one on one with the Leksands netminder.

Leksands were wasteful at times, but take nothing away from the Sheffield rearguard's efficiency and determined attitude.

Oskar Lang hit Whistle's pipework as the visitors ramped up their efforts with five minutes remaining.

But it was Steelers who scored with 93 seconds left, McGrath forehanding home from the slot.