Report: Steelers 3, Braehead Clan 3 (aggregate 7-3)

Mathieu Roy - Sheffield Steelers v Braehead Clan
Mathieu Roy - Sheffield Steelers v Braehead Clan

It is 1,130 miles from iceSheffield to the Frölundaborgs Isstadion, where Steelers make their Champions Hockey League debut on Thursday.

But every mile will be worth it, if Sheffield pull off a result to shock the hockey world.

It's a tall order: Frolunda have been training since July - the new look Steelers have been together one week and have played just two friendlies against Braehead Clan (4-0 Saturday, 3-3 Sunday; agg 7-3W.)

But does this team have the look of giant-killers?

You can rarely assess a team in friendlies, but coach Paul Thompson won't want to see his defence torn apart twice in a few seconds, like Sunday night.

Steelers d-men started adventurously with Ben O'Connor firing just wide, Jace Coyle striking the post and Zack Fitzgerald almost scoring.

Fitzgerald's mocking gesticulations to jeering away supporters mark him out as a future home fans favourite and the big American took every chance he could to trigger offence.

Goalie Tyler Plante seemingly had little to do, but in the first period's closing minutes he double-saved from Alex Leavitt, stopped a piledriver from Ric Jackman and denied Stefan Meyer.

Clan rocked Steelers after the break Alex Leavitt tipping-in from Scott Aarssen's at 20;56. Then Meyer exposed a leaky defence for number two 13 seconds later.

Jeff Legue nipped past Aarssen to half the arrears at 26;30 but this was now a better Clan side and Thomas Nesbitt hit a Steelers post. Ben Davies given the freedom of iceSheffield to put Clan further ahead at 33.55. We'd witnessed a disciplined Steeler hockey turn to sloppiness.

Fitzgerald hit the post but, tit-for-tat, Scott Pitt lashed one against Sheffield's bar.

Ruthless power play finishing from Mathieu Roy closed the gap to 2-3 and O'Connor's blue line shot deflected by Mike Duco avoided an unwanted home defeat.