Sheffield Steelers, backstopped tonight by Josh Unice, fought back after going a goal down to take both points at the NIC, for the first time this season.
The club had been waiting to see what progress Frank Doyle had made before deciding who will stand between the pipes at Nottingham Panthers.
But coach Gerad Adams said Doyle, recovering from a hand problem, was “no go” this weekend.
Panthers, who have lost their last two matches, started the night two points and one spot behind second-place Sheffield.
And they sent a fair amount of puck traffic towards Unice in the first session.
But Sheffield kept a clean sheet first period.
And they could have sneaked ahead through Rob Dowd’s creativity.
But they had been outshot, so were happy with the stalemate.
Steelers’ defending players continued to close down their opponents, Jason Hewitt preventing the puck getting to an open player at the back post.
But their resistance broke when Guillaume Doucet, the Canadian right shot, gave the home team the lead, at 26:25.
Yet d-man Ben O’Connor blasted home to equaliser at 34;45.
And a sensational individual goal by Roy, with his side on the penalty kill, saw the visitors go in front before the second break.
Greg Jacina tied things up though at 47:23.
But Steelers were determined to force the play.
And they went 3-2 up at 56;30 on the Power Play, through Tomas Petruska’s tip.
Unice made a great save near the end to ensure the points went north up the M1.
With Braehead Clan losing, Steelers are now one point behind the Scottish leaders...with a game in hand.
* Elite League leaders Braehead Clan suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Cardiff Devils.
Joey Martin, Matthew Myers and Doug Clarkson were the men on the mark for Cardiff as the Welsh side boosted their hopes of joining already-qualified Braehead in the play-offs.
In Saturday’s other games, Coventry Blaze beat Belfast Giants 3-2 and Fife Flyers saw off rock-bottom Dundee Stars 5-2.
Saturday 14th February
Braehead Clan 0 Cardiff Devils 3
Coventry Blaze 3 Belfast Giants 2
Fife Flyers 5 Dundee Stars 2
Nottingham Panthers 2 Sheffield Steelers 3
Sunday 15th February
Coventry Blaze v Belfast Giants – 5.15pm
Dundee Stars v Cardiff Devils 6.30pm-
Hull Stingrays v Fife Flyers – 6.00pm
Edinburgh Capitals 2 Cardiff Devils 1 (After Penalty Shootout)