RYAN FINNERTY made his way back over Hadrian’s Wall last night knowing there might be a whopping fine waiting for him back over the border.
But the expected blow to his pocket by the League disciplinarians for abusing match officials won’t be as big a blow as the 4-2 Challenge Cup quarter final defeat at Dundee Stars.
As the League mission seems increasingly unattainable, the Cup has become much sought after in Steelerland. But to complete their passage to the semi-final they will have to win by three clear goals in Wednesday’s second leg.
Last night, in the first period, Steelers outshoot Dundee two to one but still contrived to go one down. Seven seconds from the first buzzer, Mike Wirll, a quality right winger in his 16th season, put Stars ahead. Not surprisingly, he was assisted by evergreen Finnish centre Sami Rhyanen, 32.
Yet Sheffield responded after the interval, Jeff Legue scoring from Simon Ferguson and Danny Meyers at 24;31.
And at 35;20 the game appeared to swing in Steelers’ direction, Jason Hewitt scoring from Matt Stephenson and Jonathan Phillips. But games against Stars have been close this season and Wirll got his second to make it 2-2.
Worse followed at 51.58 when American centreman Bill Bagron put the Scots ahead again.
And with Legue in the sin bin for slashing, Doug Kranz slammed in the fourth.
n Steelers’ Chris Frank has been unable to talk himself out of playing against GB!
Recently, the Canadian suggested that an import select side, who play an Olympic qualifier warm-up against GB on February 5 should include “highly skilled players, not grinders like me.” But Frank has been selected to join Stephenson, Simon Ferguson and Steve Goertzen in the side.