The magic of cup competitions is that the underdog can win.
That magic doesn’t feel quite as sparkley when it happens to your team, though. Sheffield Steelers lost their way in the Play Off final, against Coventry Blaze, losing 4-2, at the Nottingham Ice Centre.
Steelers are unpopular with other teams in the league - so the ‘gloat-fest’ from other fans was a particularly painful way to end a season. Coach Gerad Adams’ view was that his side had been outplayed in the first 10 minutes but had hold their own the rest of the game, falling victim only to their own mistakes. I saw it differently.
Yes there were mistakes. Goalie Josh Unice would perhaps have been hooked if Steelers had a second import goalie to call on. But Coventry, for me, were the better side for 40 minutes. It was only in the last period that Steelers reminded us what they’ve been capable of in a season which saw them become EIHL champions. For the first time, Steelers shrugged off markers, reclaimed the neutral zone and activated their first line, getting two goals, albeit consolations. However, I couldn’t disagree with Adams when he said: “The League is the big one for Sheffield; to get that one is something we’re incredibly proud of, to lose two imports (three if you add Frank Doyle to Tom Petresku and Gord Baldwin) and go on this run 6-7 weeks was extraordinary.”
”We just didn’t do it right on the night for the final one.”