Sheffield Steelers title hopes hit for six at Fife Flyers

Jeff Brown and Geoff Walker go toe to toe in an early fight on Saturday. Pix by Matt McLellan

Jeff Brown and Geoff Walker go toe to toe in an early fight on Saturday. Pix by Matt McLellan

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Fife Flyers drove a nail into the coffin of Sheffield Steelers’ title pursuit with a 6-3 home win.

Sheffield ran out of gas, dropping back into third place in the league, as rivals Belfast Giants and leaders Cardiff Devils chalked up wins.

Saturday's teams face off for a restart

Saturday's teams face off for a restart

Sheffield who put 14 goals past Fife in three previous wins this season, had started well.

Defenceman Zack Fitzgerald put them ahead at 4;37 after a move involving another blueliner, Anders Franzon and centre John Armstrong.

The lead lasted just 10 minutes, though.

Sixth-placed Fife, who had lost their last four games, had a goal disallowed before Matthew Sisca equalised with an effort over Ervins Mustukovs’ blocker.

John Armstrong is slammed into the wall by Geoff Waugh

John Armstrong is slammed into the wall by Geoff Waugh

And then 77 seconds later Brendan Brooks put the Scots ahead on a breakaway.

The interval served only to increase Fife’s appetite and Sebastien Thinel banged the puck into Mustukovs’ post.

Steelers, who beat Nottingham Panthers at home on Saturday, attempted to assert themselves and had efforts from Levi Nelson and Colton Fretter.

However, at 27:20, Mathieu Roy equalised from close range- his fourth goal in five games.

Partiy did not last long though and Italian/Canadian Sisca put the home side ahead for a second time at 31;27, after a turnover. Team-mate Phillippe Paquet almost added a fourth, his shot striking the pipework.

Sheffield re-grouped. And Armstrong was waiting near the back stick to finish off a move for 4-4 at 41;16.

Fife pressed back and Chase Schaber despatched the game’s seventh goal of the game at 46;36.

Steelers’ heads dropped again when Justin Fox exploited a line change at 50:12.

They pull the netminder with 3:36 to go but were punished further by Carlo Finucci’s empty netter.

RESULTS

Sunday 26th February

Elite League

Coventry Blaze 3 Manchester Storm 2 (PS)

Edinburgh Capitals 2 Cardiff Devils 3 (OT)

Fife Flyers 6 Sheffield Steelers 3

Nottingham Panthers 3 Belfast Giants 4

FIXTURES

Friday 3rd March

Elite League

Manchester Storm v Cardiff Devils – 7.30pm

Nottingham Panthers v Braehead Clan – 7.30pm

Saturday 4th March

Elite League

Belfast Giants v Manchester Storm – 7.00pm

Dundee Stars v Braehead Clan – 7.00pm

Fife Flyers v Edinburgh Capitals – 7.15pm

Sheffield Steelers v Coventry Blaze – 5.00pm

Sunday 5th March

Challenge Cup Final (Cardiff Arena)

Cardiff Devils v Sheffield Steelers – 4.00pm

Elite League

Edinburgh Capitals v Dundee Stars – 6.00pm

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