Sheffield Steeldogs shipped in 13 goals in a losing weekend.
They went down 5-1 at home to Telford Tigers and 8-3 at Peterborough Phantoms.
A tough weekend schedule was made all the more challenging as they had to play without the league’s leading scorer, Arnoldas Bosas who was away representing Lithuania in an Olympic qualifying tournament along with d-man Tim Smith who was still out injured.
Having broken a 17 game losing run against the Telford Tigers in January, the Steeldogs were looking to further develop that winning habit but a second period collapse ensured the reigning league champions would return to Shropshire with the points.
Liam Charnock's goal late in the first period tied the scores after Jason Silverthorn had put Telford in front but the middle period proved to be Sheffield's undoing.
Three goals in 9 minutes from Telford knocked the stuffing out of the Steeldogs and they never looked like reducing the deficit. Macaulay Heywood scored his second of the game as the period ended and that concluded the scoring for the night. The final period passed without event and the Tigers ran out winners by five goals to one.
Sunday in Peterborough didn't turn out much better. Goals from Padelek and Baranyk put the home team firmly in control of a one sided opening session. The Phantoms again came out fast in the second period and were 4-0 up inside 25 minutes. Soon after Callum Pattison was sent out to deal with Greg Pick after he delivered a second big hit. Pattison marginally took the honours from a brutal exchange that left the Phantom bleeding from a cut.
Liam Charnock broke Auzins shutout only for Padelek to score again and complete his hat-trick. The major incident of the night happened with just 15 seconds left in the period, the Steeldogs got bodies around the Phantoms’ goal and a scrum formed. This saw Pick and Pattison fight for the second time for another old fashioned battle. The tiny penalty boxes were overflowing after Referee Boardman had finished clearing up.
Peterborough removed the volatile Auzins from game at the start of the third period but extended the lead soon after through Pliskauskas. Sedlar was replaced by Barkworth at this stage and the bad tempered game crawled to its end with Cole Shudra and Stano Lascek added consolation goals for the Steeldogs.
After the game, Steeldogs Captain Ben Morgan reflected on the weekend’s results; “We are disappointed not picking up any points this weekend. We've been talking in the changing room about how we can make it better. We will have a good week in practice and come back with a game plan, a fresh focus.
"We have Basingstoke and Hull away next weekend, so it will be tough playing two games on the road. But we see it as a weekend where we can certainly pick up points, hopefully with a fuller bench to call on.
“I’ve been impressed with some of our young guys this weekend. Charlie Thompson played well tonight, so did Cole Shudra. Tom Barry got an assist tonight and Liam Kirk put in some great shifts against Telford. Even Tom Barkworth got some valuable minutes in the net too. It is for us senior players need to start playing a little better, get back to doing what we have for much of the year and lead by example as we head towards the end of the season”.