Sheffield Steeldogs enjoyed a rare single game weekend by beating Yorkshire rivals the Hull Pirates, for the third time.
Pirates were set up by Steeldogs owner Shane Smith after the collapse of the Hull Stingrays and with a hastily assembled squad are finding life in the EPL a real challenge, with only one point from six previous games.
Steeldogs had their own challenges as they headed in to the game without player/coach Greg Wood who had picked up an injury and who joined the already absent ‘Stano’ Lascek and Lubomir Korhon, serving the first of a two game suspension.
They welcomed back injured duo Liam Charnock and Lee Haywood.
The game got off to a slow start, both teams aware of the importance of getting a win. It opened up after quarter of an hour; Sheffield got a two man advantage when the visitors were penalised for icing three imports. After a couple of sighters, Arnoldas Bosas fired the puck past Baston at 15.40.
Hull got back in the game in the second period with Sheffield product Jonathan Kirk beating Sedlar from the blue line before ex-Steeler Warren Tait put them ahead. However Bosas struck again to leave it all square with 20 minutes left.
The final session showed the bit of extra quality that the Steeldogs had as they only took five shots but got two goals from Tom Squires. Hull fired 12 on Sedlar but couldn’t beat him again as he finished the night saving 33 out of 35 shots.
A 4-2 win for the Steeldogs achieved without two of their import stars, proof of the character of the team and securing bragging rights until the teams meet again on Halloween.
Wood commented: "“I quite enjoyed being on the bench and just coaching – I don’t really want to come back and play! We played really well, dominated the play for much of the game. First period and third period we were really dominant, second period we had a little bit of a wobble but all in all its two points and we’ve pulled further ahead of Hull at the bottom of the league.
“Players are really stepping up, taking the opportunity and giving me a bit of a headache when everybody comes back. What do I do to a settled team? It’s food for thought and really positive that we’ve got a full squad that can contribute.
“We are going to have a bit of a rest this week, trying to get a few guys fit before the Milton Keynes game on Sunday. I’m really looking forward to having a full bench because we haven’t had a game yet this season where we’ve been at full strength. I think we’ve seen glimpses of how well we can play, it’s quite a frustrating period but if we keep on picking points up each weekend we are going to be in a good position”.
Next home game: Sunday October 11th Steeldogs vs MK Lightning 5.30 face-off at iceSheffield