Last-day decider for Stingrays Steelers 3 Stingrays 2

SHEFFIELD, – Rapid Solicitors Hull Stingrays’ hopes of qualifying for the Elite League play-offs will go down to the last day following a 3-2 defeat to Sheffield Steelers at Sheffield Arena.

Stingrays take on Steelers again at Hull Arena next Sunday (6pm face-off) knowing even a victory may not be enough to book a top-eight place if other results go against them.Sheffield logo

Robert Dowd put Steelers in front with the only goal of the first period at 17.15 and Jonathan Phillips (29.10) doubled the home side’s lead.

Carl Lauzon, with a short-handed marker at 34.10, halved the deficit but Chris Blight (49.29) restored Steelers’ two-goal advantage.

A Lauzon powerplay at 50.28 – his 23rd goal of the season – saw Stingrays hit back again but despite calling a time-out and pulling goaltender Ben Bowns they could not muster a game-tying goal.

Player-coach Sylvain Cloutier said: “I thought we played a pretty good game but we lost to the better team.

“We kept plugging away and had a late chance to tie it up but we couldn’t really have done a lot more.

“It’s disappointing but fingers crossed some results can go our way now on Saturday night. It’s going to go right down to the last seconds on Sunday.

“It is going to be an exciting finish and we will just have to see where it leaves us.”

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