Ice Hockey: Sjerven is the hero

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GRANT SJERVEN produced a brave performance yesterday to spark Sheffield Steelers' 4-0 victory over Nottingham Panthers in the Challenge Cup final in front of a sell-out 9,200 crowd at the Sheffield Arena, thus helping to end two years without a trophy.

The former Manchester Storm goaltender endured a torrid time in the first few months of the season, becoming the target of the fans' frustration, but he bounced back yesterday, winning the man-of-the-match award for an inspirational shut-out.

Steelers had effectively killed off Nottingham's challenge with two goals from brothers Teeder and John Wynne inside the opening four minutes. Sjerven then kept the Panthers at bay and, at the other end, victory was wrapped up by a superb shot from Ed Courtenay in the second period and an easier effort from Ken Priestlay.