A thrilling weekend of hockey for the Sheffield Steelers resulted in consecutive wins.

On Saturday night, the Steelers eked past the Nottingham Panthers in a tense 3-2 shootout win, their first match since their electric Challenge Cup Final win.

Aaron Fox said: “[I was] hopeful that the boys could find a way past Rok today. The ice was not great tonight so you weren’t seeing many moves or dekes, it was more of a shooting penalty shot tonight and just happy we were able to find a way [to win].”

The Steelers, fresh off winning their first Challenge Cup since 2020, are looking to claim its first Elite League championship since 2016 and first playoff championship since 2017.

Saturday’s game was gripping from the outset as the Steelers put contrast pressure on the Panthers. The Steelers were unable to find the back of the net as Panthers’ goaltender Rok Stojanovic routinely flashed his glove and pad, saving all of the Steelers’ 15 shots on goal in the first period.

Marc-Olivier Vallerand opened the scoring in the second period, giving the Steelers its first lead of the game. Vallerand deked towards the goal, missing his first shot attempt off Stojanovic’s pad, before knocking in an unassisted chip-shot goal off the rebound.

The Panthers quickly responded in less than two minutes thanks to a Westin Michaud goal, levelling the score to 1-1. The Steelers successfully killed off a two-minute slashing penalty by Brett Neumann before closing out the second period tied.

Following a Steelers two-minute minor penalty for too many men on the ice, the Panthers took a 2-1 lead on an Otto Nieminen power play goal, but the Steelers levelled the score within four minutes after English-born captain Robert Dowd knocked in the tying score.

In the three vs three sudden-death overtime period, the Steelers peppered Stojanovic with shots but were routinely denied, and a five shot penalty shootout ensued.

After a denial on the first penalty shot, Vallerand took an early lead in the shootout before the Panthers’ Lunsjo tied it up. Forward Patrick Watling claimed the lead for the Steelers after he calmly glided towards the crease and nailed the puck in the back of the net.

Both the Steelers and Panthers saw shots bounce off the post and crossbar while the tension mounted but a stellar performance throughout the game and into the shootout by Matthew Greenfield gave the home side a win. He denied the Panthers’ final attempt and erupted with… before being mobbed by his teammates on the ice.

The success continued into the following day, after the Steelers thrashed the Blaze 7-3. They opened the game with two goals in the opening two minutes, part of a four game first period.

Vallerand and Daniel Ciampini both scored two goals on the offensive end, while defensively, the Steelers were able to kill four Blaze power plays.

The Steelers travel to Cardiff this Wednesday to face the second place Devils.