Double defeat for Steelers

Jeff Legue's goal against Braehead Clan
Jeff Legue's goal against Braehead Clan
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Questions were posed on Saturday over the need for changes in Sheffield’s line up following a big loss at Nottingham. They were being asked again last night.

The Twittering classes (me included) suggested a shake-up may well be necessary, despite the fact the season is only seven games old.

Overkill? Actually, coach Doug Christiansen seemed on the same wave-length.

Some players must “make adjustments in their game” or hard decisions would be made, he stated, ominously.

It was recognition of how his defence had collapsed on Saturday and his forwards had failed to mirror Panthers’ precision.

With Max Lacroix out injured for up to eight weeks (surgery on broken ankle today) reinforcements are even more crucial.

Last night Sheffield were beaten in penalty shoot-out after twice being two goals down at home as Ryan Finnerty returned to beat Doug Christiansen, the man who replaced him.

Misplaced passes and a lack of penetration, as well as a poorly-focused defence, saw Clan take a 2-0 lead.

The best pass of the session, came from Ed McGrane who picked out Scott Aarssen on the left-point and he rifled low past Frank Doyle’s left foot at 12;58.

Five minutes later, Clan got in behind Gord Baldwin and Shane Lust had room to double the score.

Braehead, beaten 5-4 in Belfast, the previous night, found it hard to contain Rob Dowd and Steve Goertzen, in particular in the middle period. Jeff Legue scored for Sheffield, but Clan made it 3-1 , again through Lust.

But Dowd potted a low drive past Kyle Jones, Tim Spencer rattled the visitors’ bar before Dustin Kohn levelled.

Stefan Meyer and Ray Macias traded goals in the last session before Dowd and Legue missed penalty shots - Ash Goldie getting the golden goal.

Christiansen expressed his “bitter disappointment” at the result but added: “We’ll get there.”

On Saturday, Steelers rearguard imploded in the last 10 minutes of the Challenge Cup Group game.

Up until then, Panthers had been the team most likely to succeed, but Steelers were still in it.

Yet defensively, they fell apart, and with the Power Play showing no goals for 10 PPs, it was best a night to forget - an all too common occurrence at the NIC.

Goertzen put the visitors ahead, Panthers went 3-1 up through David Clarke, Matt Francis and Brandon Benedict. Lacroix scored a brace, separated by one from Panther Chris Capraro.

Then three unanswered goals in the last 10 minutes, from Capraro, Robert Lachowicz and Leigh Salters.