Steelers now have only the Play Offs to compete for, after a shambolic collapse in parts of the Challenge Cup second leg semi-final at Nottingham Panthers.
When they recruit a new coach to replace Doug Christiansen - and Gerad Adams is odds-on for that post if he still wants it- he’ll take over a team that’s incapable of consistency and struggles in both offence and defence.
Not many were expecting a Steeler win at Panthers last night - but they were expecting some pride.
Yet at the half way point they were 5-0 down, rallying to lose 6-4 on the night 11-7 on aggregate.
Steelers started the leg 5-3 down, after a defeat which cost Christiansen his job. They also had newly installed player coach Steve Goertzen at home in bed with a concussion.
And the whole team had a headache after four minutes. Centre Matt Ryan, having served a high sticks penalty, galloped out of the box to score. Leigh Salters, who did enough damage to Sheffield in the first encounter, tipped in at 15:56 for 7-3 aggregate.
The prospects of four unanswered away goals looked remote, especially as Craig Kowalski was revelling in the opportunity of getting his club to a fifth straight Cup final. To confirm Panthers’ dominance, the home side banged in two in three minutes after the first interval.
Robert Farmer scored a rebound before Eric Werner beat Frank Doyle, too. It was open season on Steelers, Greg Jacina scoring on a breakaway.
At 24;03, the flow of goals was re-directed, when Max Lacroix dragged one back on the Power Play. And 15 minutes later, the search for some decency in the scoreline continued when Stefan Meyers netted.
With five goals to find, Steelers needed a good start to the third. But like they other two sections, they conceded early, Tom Norton getting the sixth of the night, through Doyle’s legs. The crazy run and gun action continued with Dustin Kohn scoring Steelers’ third. Then Lacroix got his second of the night.