DUNDEE, UK – Sheffield Steelers head coach, Doug Christiansen, bemoaned his sides lack of intelligence on the ice as, once again, they failed to bag maximum points from the weekend.
With an injury list growing game by game, Christiansen was forced to go into Sunday night’s return encounter with the Cardiff Devils with a bench consisting of 9 forwards and 4 defensemen, one of those defensemen was signed to play on the forward lines. Maxime Lacroix, Chad Langlais and Danny Meyers where already on the treatment table before the trip to the Welsh Capital on Saturday, they were quickly joined by Dustin Kohn who didn’t make it out of the first period. Although that extra loss didn’t hamper the Steelers heading back up north with a 4-2 win and the chance, for the first time this season, to claim back-to-back wins in a single weekend.
No one had told Cardiff to read the script before the start of the game however and two second period strikes, both with the home town Steelers on a 2-man penalty kill, from captain Mac Faulkner, aided the Devils to take the 4-3 win. However they had to sweat for it with Sheffield staging an encouraging third period come back to pull to within a goal.
“If the game was probably 65 minutes we win it, showed great character, but that’s the second straight week we have left it late and wound up on the wrong end of the score.” Doug Christiansen told the Steeler’s website, but it wasn’t to be and again his side have to make do with splitting the weekend’s games.
Elsewhere in the Elite League, Fife notched up only their second win of the season, both coming in the Challenge Cup, with a nervous 2-1 win at home to Braehead. Saturday also saw a piece of history made as the Nottingham Panthers became the first side to win 400 games since the start of the Elite League, thanks to goals in all three periods in a 3-2 win against the Belfast Giants. However the headline of the night, and not for the first time this season, came from the Dundee Stars. Despite their head coach being forced to dress only in a suit due to his 4-game ban from the League, the Stars still continued to roll with a comfortable 6-2 win against the struggling Edinburgh Capitals.
Sunday didn’t get much better for Edinburgh as it was Braehead’s turn to enjoy themselves in front of goal, a pair of strikes from Nathan Moon and Ash Goldie helping the visiting Clan to a 7-0 win, goaltender Kyle Jones only been forced to make 18 saves in the process.
Sunday also saw a hat-trick, this time at the SkyDome.
Coventry Blaze forward Ryan Ginand scored in all three periods as the Blaze proved the Dundee Stars weren’t unbeatable in a 6-2 triumph.
Finally, after losing by the odd goal in 5 on Saturday, Belfast were able to turn the score line around, this time away at the Hull Stingrays, despite being outshot by their hosts, the Giants came away 3-2 victors.
So with the League and Challenge Cup still sharing the spotlight the Elite League table looks a bit strange, still Dundee lead the way and Fife are still searching for their first league win and, oh yes, Sheffield are still waiting to celebrate a weekend double, maybe next weekend will be that time if they have enough players on the ice and not in the treatment room.