SHEFFIELD, U.K.- It was a weekend of mixed emotions for the Steeldogs, with the Sheffield side securing a hard-fought 4-2 home win over the Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday Oct. 3. before taking a 9-1 thrashing at the home of the Manchester Phoenix the following day.
The Phantoms opened the scoring in the first period at 4:40 on the PP through Ondrej Lauko.
The Steeldogs replied later in the period, however, as Lloyd Gibson scrambled the puck into the back of the net from Dmitry Rodin’s deflected slapshot at 15:27.
Edgars Bebris then gave the shorthanded Steeldogs the lead with just 11 seconds left in the first period, moments after killing off a 5-3 Peterborough PP. The Latvian forward showed tremendous pace and skill to deke and beat the Phantoms defence before firing the puck past Peterborough netminder, Damien King, from an impossible angle.
Both netminders saw plenty of the puck in the second period, however, both King and Steeldogs’ new netminder, James Flavell, managed to keep the score at 2-1.
Although, just 50 seconds in to the third period, Steeldogs captain, Greg Wood, made it 3-1 on the PP.
Peterborough’s Luke Ferrara reduced the deficit to one once more, however, with a goal at 54:29. After some tic-tac-toe passing between the Peterborough offence, Ferrara was given an easy opportunity to slot the puck past Flavell.
At 56:26, the Steeldogs wrapped up the game with another goal. Bebris claimed his second goal of the night with a precise shot straight from the face-off which flew past King into the back of the net.
The Steeldogs then travelled to face League leaders, Manchester Phoenix, on Sunday Oct. 4.
Morale was high after a great win over the Phantoms on the previous day, however, the Steeldogs were brought back down to Earth after a 9-1 bashing by the Phoenix.
The Steeldogs found themselves 3-0 down at the end of the first period. Joachim Flaten opened the scoring at 3:03, and Ciaran Long further increased Manchester’s lead with two quick-fire goals at 10:25 and 11:04.
The Phoenix returned even stronger after the break, scoring a total of six goals in the second period.
Luke Boothroyd made it four at 24:33 on the PP. Minutes later, Michael Psurny increased Manchester’s lead to five at 30:50.
The Steeldogs then changed netminders, with Dmitri Zimozdra making way for Bradley Day.
However, Day could not stop the Phoenix onslaught either. Goals from Flaten at 32:26 on the PP, Tom Duggan at 32:49 and Robert Schnabel at 37:53 made it 8-0.
Steeldogs defender, Steve Duncombe, grabbed the only goal of the night for the Sheffield side at 38:13. Phoenix rubbed salt in the wound moments later, as James Archer gave Manchester their ninth goal of the game.
The Steeldogs came back strong in the final period, reverting to their more familiar style, however, they could not find their way back into the game. The game ended with an embarrassing 9-1 defeat for the Sheffield Steeldogs.
On Monday Oct. 5. the Sheffield Steeldogs released an official statement on their website: “W e showed our potential at the start of season and for some reason it just isn’t happening now,”
“Things need to change for our fans, our sponsors and our season,”
“We had a great season last year and wanted to build on that. Last night’s result was the final straw in a string of bad results,”
“We will be looking long and hard at what has been going wrong over recent weeks and changes will be made if needed.”
The Steeldogs now have two home games on the bounce, hosting the Bracknell Bees on Saturday Oct. 10. before facing Milton Keynes Lightning the following day.
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