SHEFFIELD Steeldogs are struggling to pull away from the wrong end of the English Premier League.
Last weekend, they beat bottom club Telford Tigers 2-1 at iceSheffield, but were then beaten 5-3 at top of the table Basingstoke Bison.
It didn’t help that Dogs spent a total of 60 minutes in the penalty box at Bison.
The home side, in fact, strolled to a 5-1 lead and it was only in the last five minutes that Andre Payette’s men brought some respectability to the score line.
Steeldogs had held their own in the first period, despite being on the wrong end of 26 minutes of penalties compared to six for Bison. The home team could only pick up one goal during that time, and that was on a 5-on-3 powerplay, when with Payette and Derek Campbell both sharing the penalty box, Greg Owen opened the scoring at 8:26.
The second period saw fewer penalties though with three powerplay opportunities for the Bison as Steeldogs kept this to an even 1-1 period. Bison went 2-0 up at 22:50, with an even-handed goal unassisted by Greg Chambers after he intercepted a Steeldogs pass. Steeldogs halved the deficit whilst playing 4-on-4 at 33:34 courtesy of Ben Morgan, assisted Edgars Bebris, to end the second period 2-1.
The final period saw five goals, Bison going 5-1 ahead before Steeldogs pulled a couple back. Chambers started the ball rolling again with his second at 43:40 as he and Owen beat James Flavell after some good passing on a 2 on 1 drive. Owen was unmarked as he scored his second on the PP at 47.37.
Campbell turned the Bison defence over but his shot hit the post with Gibson also creating a chance that went high. However, it was Bison that struck again on 5-on-3 advantage as Rand tipped in a Greg Chambers point shot for 5-1. Steeldogs mounted a late fight back with a great goal from the hashmarks by Pavel Gomeniuk (assisted Brittle and Bebris) at 55:37 followed by Lloyd Gibson’s tap in during a goal mouth scramble at 59:32 to finish the scoring at 5-3 win for Bison.
On Saturday, Telford scored first at 20:37 as Tim Burrows scored on the PP. Payette equalised at 32:54 with a wraparound.
Steeldogs broke the deadlock at 45:26; a Campbell shot winning the game.