Ice hockey: Mixed start for Steelers

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Sheffield’s League campaign got off to a mixed start in Scotland with a 4-3 loss at Dundee on Sunday and a 10-3 win at Edinburgh on Saturday.

It means Sheffield have won two and lost two so far this season in League and Cup fare. Not ideal for new coach Doug Christiansen, but his is a work in progress.

Last night, Dundee captain Brock McPherson put Stars ahead on a Power Play on seven minutes, as Stefan Meyer sat out a minor.

Max Lacroix, hat-trick hero of the night before, levelled after build-up from Drew Fata and Dustin Kohn.

Stars’ right wing Mike Wirll put the home side ahead for a second time on 16:15, after McPherson, again, had played a key offensive part.

The second period was only five minutes old before Sheffield were trailing by two goals: Alaskan star Billy Bagron beating Frank Doyle.

Stars thought they’d chalked up another, but the ref ruled it had been kicked in. But the home fans only had to wait until a power play at 33;38 until Nico Sacchetti made it 4-1. A big final period was needed.

And the omens were good when Rylan Galiardi hit the net on 41 minutes.

The excitement was contagious as Sheffield further reduced their arrears to 4-3 with ten minutes remaining.

But they couldn’t find the equaliser, despite dominating the final minutes.

* Saturday was a goal fest for Steelers – but the kind of scoreline that must give impartial Elite League observers the shivers.

Edinburgh Capitals are a low budget team, who on occasion , have pulled off suprise results. But a 10-3 home defeat for the Scots is hardly an advertisement for a competitive league.

Especially on the first day of the League season.

The Scots, were in the game for a whole 11 minutes.

Meyer and Richard Hartmann traded goals, Lacroix grabbed a brace before Curtis Leinweber pulled it back to 3-2. Exciting stuff: but a false picture.

Steelers went on to slam seven more past their hosts before a 51st minute reply from Leinweber.

The barrage saw Lacroix wrap up his hat-trick, Jeff Legue helped himself to a brace, and singles for Tim Spencer, Galiardi, Jason Hewitt and Rob Dowd.

Steelers netminder Doyle had just five efforts to face in the last 40 minutes, as Sheffield out-shot their hosts 41-15. Sheffield can only beat those that are put in front of them though – and Nottingham Panthers only won 4-2 there last night.

And on the same night, Belfast Giants and Cardiff Devils both lost at home (to Coventry Blaze and Braehead Clan respectively.)

Coach Doug Christiansen – once a player coach for Caps - observed: “It was a professional victory. We dictated the play and scored timely goals. Scoring five in the first period certainly helped!

“For me it wasn’t just about Max’s three goals it was that we had many different scorers. Players we want to see on the score sheet scored.”