Dogs cling on to top spot

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SHEFFIELD Steeldogs remain tied at the top of the super-competitive English Premier League, along with Manchester, Milton Keynes and Slough, after mixed results at the weekend.

They lost at Slough, 4-1, on Saturday before winning 2-1 at Bracknell Bees on Sunday. Player-coach Andre Payette said: “It was a tough loss on Saturday but a great win on Sunday when the guys played for much of the game with just one import against Bracknell’s four.

“The players played their hearts out and this was one of the best games I’ve been a part of with Steeldogs.

“Again, Janis Ozolins and Ben Bowns were phenomenal.”

In Sunday’s game, having lost the services of Payette, to a match penalty at 59 minutes 35 seconds against the Jets, the Steeldogs went into the game short-handed.

However, the team dug deep and played hard for the full 60 minutes.

With the game still evenly poised, Steeldogs suffered the loss of D-man Pavel Gomeniuk who was given a 5 + game tripping penalty.

The Bees must have really fancied their chances against a young, virtually all-British side but Ozolins danced his way in on goal during the five-minute penalty kill to give the Dogs the lead at 33.43. Bees equalised four minutes later.

However, another superb flick of the puck into the back of the net by Ozolins put the iceSheffield side back in front, fjust before the second break.

The pace was turned up by both sides in a 0-0 nailbiting final period as each shift put pressure on the Bees and Ben Bowns pulled off some quality saves for an excellent win by the short-handed side.

Saturday, at Slough, saw a mere consolation goal for Steeldogs’ Andrew Hirst.