ICE HOCKEY: Inconsistent Steelers target winning formula

editorial image
Have your say

SHEFFIELD Steelers’ search for the elusive formula to yield game-consistency has yet to reach a successful conclusion.

It is one thing being joint top of the table. It is quite another staying there.

And with their competitors having games in hand, Steelers’ ability to hang on to at the pinnacle appears distinctly questionable.

Especially so after weekend results that sum up their season.

On Friday, they notched one of the results of the 2012-13 campaign, a 5-1 hammering of Giants on their own ice.

But as the team left the Odyssey ice, coach Ryan Finnerty must have been wondering whether his side could maintain the momentum. Especially after a sequence of five straight wins which had followed four defeats out of five matches.

The answer to the question was no. Which means the search continues for players to reinforce the squad which, of course, will be weakened if and when Tom Sestito returns to NHL duty.

Steelers tried to coax 26-year-old Canadian right winger Alex Bourret to join them, recently, but couldn’t persuade him. He would have been a useful asset in Saturday’s 3-0 shut out loss in Northern Ireland. The visitors had 25 shots on GB goaltender Stephen Murphy, but couldn’t once emulate their Friday night offensive mastery. Seven Power Plays came and went for Sheffield.

Giants went ahead through Noah Clarke, who beat John DeCaro on the Power Play.

Sheffield-born former Scimitar and Steeler Matt Towe wrapped up the points for Giants with his first of the season at 46.12. And Sam Roberts added another two minutes later.

Finnerty pinpointed the difference between Friday and Saturday night displays as “a failure to execute” in front of goal. After dominating much of the first period on Saturday, they simply fell away.

“Defensively, we had a couple of break downs, but DeCaro was outstanding, again,” he said.

As things stand, Sheffield have won six games out of 15 in regulation time.