Steelers are branding their players as ‘rockstars’ in a Youtube video at the moment - but they were not on song last night.
They conceded five times and lost a chance to make ground on second-place Panthers, although they still have five games in hand on them.
Harmony was missing across large stretches of a game watched by 7,434 fans at Sheffield Arena- and Steelers missed a 5-on-3 power play opportunity, at 3-4 down, in the final seven minutes. The game was effectively strangled, then, by Nott’s forercheckers.
A hurly-burly first period had seen some excellent defending from both sides, both blue lines corps restricting quality chances.
But mistakes crept in...with both sides paying for it. Panthers’ defence inexplicably gave Mike Ramsay oceans of room to set himself up to score from Jeff Legue’s pass at 12;32.
But two minutes later Tom Squires couldn’t close down American defenceman Brock Wilson whose shot flashed low past John DeCaro.
Before that, Legue and Ramsay’s partnership with Colt King looked the most likely to succeed, while Panthers’ David Beauregard sent a shot off DeCaro’s pipework.
Panthers stepped up a notch in a middle period in which Sheffield looked like they could be overwhelmed. Jordan Fox, cousin of Notts’ first scorer, made it 2-1 for the visitors at 21;26. He could have got another when he sliced straight through the home defence and David Clarke missed a sitter, too, before Guillaume Lepine added another goal.
Legue made a hash of a penalty shot, with Craig Kowalski foiling him easily.
But Steelers fought back. Ashley Tait hit the post and Jason Hewitt banged home the rebound.
Kowalski then looked like a goalie with flypaper on his chest - every shot seemed to stick on him.
Sheffield winger Ramsay boobed three minutes into the last session, he couldn’t clear his zone and Robert Lachowicz profited.
Nottingham lost Steve Lee for 12 minutes on a checking to the head penalty but they killed all their penalties leaving Jeff Heerema to score the fifth, an empty net goal.
Sheffield now have to try and make amends with a win on the road at Nottingham today.