Steeldogs fail to shake off their losing streak

SHEFFIELD, U.K.- The Sheffield Steeldogs extended their losing streak to four after losing 1-0 away at Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday Oct.27, before enduring an embarrassing 7-3 home defeat to Guildford Flames the following day.
The travelling Sheffield fans saw a tense and feisty match between the Steeldogs and the Lightning.
Despite playing off the back of two consecutive defeats, the Steeldogs looked the stronger of the two sides early on in the first period. Within the first 10 minutes, the Steeldogs had a goal disallowed, as Tom Squires was called up for high sticks after knocking the puck down into the net.
The action continued as Steeldogs, Lee Haywood, was caught in the eye from a high stick, drawing blood. No penalty was given. The incident prompted a fight between Steeldogs coach, Andre Payette, and Lightning’s, Chris Wiggins.
Milton Keynes then opened the scoring with Leigh Jamieson converting at 9:53 to make it 1-0 to the home side.
Two more fights ensued, first between Sheffield’s Lewis Bell and Milton Keynes’ Ross Bowers, and then fists were thrown between Lightning’s Grant McPherson and Steeldogs’ Craig Elliot.  
The first period ended 1-0.
The second period began much like the first, with Sheffield’s Lloyd Gibson squaring up to Lightning’s Ross Green at 26:59. Milton Keynes’ Adam Holder then picked a fight with Haywood, who obliged.
With no further fights or goals, the game ended 1-0, presenting the Steeldogs with yet another defeat.
On Sunday Oct. 28. the Steeldogs faced a difficult home game against last season’s League and Cup Champions, Guildford Flames.
The Steeldogs once again started brightly, with captain, Greg Wood, converting after just 6:22.
However, the Flames quickly equalised through David Savage at 9:15 who fired the puck past Steeldogs’ new netminder, James Flavell. The first period ended 1-1.
The Flames turned up the heat in the second period. David Longstaff put Guildford into the lead at 22:59, followed by a goal from Curtis Huppe at 30:56, who fired the puck into the roof of the net past Flavell to make it 3-1.
Greg Wood scored his second of the game to put the Steeldogs back to within one at 33:56, only for Richard Plant to restore Guildford’s two goal deficit moments later to make it 4-2.
Payette and Guildford’s Andrew Sharp then went toe-to-toe in a fight in which the Steeldogs coach came out on top.

Payette%27s Steeldogs struggle following another two defeats (Picture courtesy of the Sheffield Steeldogs)

Payette%27s Steeldogs struggle following another two defeats (Picture courtesy of the Sheffield Steeldogs)


During the 2+2 roughing penalties given to Payette and Sharp, Huppe scored his second of the game to give Guildford a 5-2 lead. Huppe then completed his hat-trick moments later to make it 6-3.   
At 43:30, another fight erupted between Sharp and Payette once more, and once again, Payette came out on top.
While the penalties were being served, Richard Plant took advantage and scored his second goal of the game at 45:22, giving the Flames a 7-1 lead.
The resilient and defiant Steeldogs kept on trying, however, and they were later rewarded for their efforts. Steve Duncombe scored a powerplay goal at 50:55 to end the games scoring.
The game ended 7-3 to the Guildford Flames. Greg Wood was given the MOTM for the Steeldogs.
The Sheffield Steeldogs next host the Peterborough Phantoms at home on Saturday Nov. 3. before travelling to Manchester on Sunday Nov. 4. to face the Phoenix.
Contact the writer at ryan.laycock@prohockeynews.com
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