SHEFFIELD, UK – Sunday night saw one championship decided across the Atlantic as the Baltimore Ravens sealed only their second Super Bowl win, but on this side of the pond the race for the Elite League title was reduced to just a pair of points thanks to the Sheffield Steelers claiming another victory over table topping Nottingham.
Two goals from Jeff Legue and a game winner from the very green Ashley Tait saw the Steelers home in a 5-2 victory over the Panthers and hand Belfast the chance to halve Nottingham’s lead.
That chance was gratefully accepted by the Giants but they were made to work for it at the Cardiff Arena. Recovering from a 3-0 1st period deficit Belfast were able to post two goals in a bad tempered second and one late in the third to send the game to overtime.
Craig Peacock then stepped up to be the hero with the winning penalty shot in the shootout and send his team into the international break breathing down the Panthers neck atop the table.
Saturday night went according to plan for Nottingham, Belfast, Sheffield and Fife as they all claimed wins.
Fife enjoyed double strikes from Jason Pitton and Bobby Chaumont as they treated over 1,300 fans to a comfortable 7-1 victory over Edinburgh. Robby Sandrock bagged himself a pair of power play goals as Belfast squeaked past Hull 5-4 on home ice and there were hat-tricks for Sheffield’s Steve Goertzen and Nottingham’s Bruce Graham as the Steelers narrowly beat Braehead 5-4 while the Panthers bagged four goals in the second period to run over Coventry 6-2.
The Edinburgh Capitals recovered from their heavy defeat the previous night with a 5-2 triumph at home to Braehead on Sunday, Fife couldn’t repeat their previous night’s work when they travelled to Dundee with the Stars running out 4-1 winners.
In the final game of the weekend, the Coventry Blaze recorded seven goals from seven different scorers as they punched a huge dent in Hull’s chances of making it to the post season with a 7-2 victory.
Next weekend sees the top sides in the league take a break as team GB continue their preparations for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. However the league will still see action as 7 teams will do battle over 6 games in a bid to push for the end of season playoffs.
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