Double loss for Sheffield Steeldogs

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Steeldogs came up short in two weekend games, losing by a single goal on each night,

They went down in over time at Swindon Wildcats 4-3 and were then beaten at home by Milton Keynes Lightning, the same score.

With a penalty shot win over Manchester on Friday night in the bag, Steeldogs travelled down to Swindon for a Saturday night clash with the Wildcats.

Having lost their previous two games at the Link Centre by a combined score of 14-1, they were looking to change their fortunes.

Down by two goals early in the second period, it looked like that was a forlorn hope but the 'comeback kings' turned the tables and goals from Calvert, Haywood and Charnock put them in front just past the half way point.

Containing the stacked offence of the Wildcats is always a challenge and Jonas Hoog scored and equalising goal for them late in the second period. Neither team managed to score in the final period so Sheffield found themselves going to sudden death overtime for the second night in a row.

With time running out, the Wildcats player/coach Aaron Nell scored the decisive goal to send the Dogs home with just one point. Having been out shot 47-30 this represented a good return from a tough road game.

Sunday was to prove no easier with title challengers the Milton Keynes Lighting providing the last hurdle of the weekend. MK were first to score, Jordan Cownie beating Sedlar but Lubomir Korhon replied for the Steeldogs quickly.

Cownie turned provider when the impressive Bobby Chamberlain put the Lightning back in front and there was a feeling they always had something more to give when threatened.

A Bakrlik power play effort put the Dogs two behind and the iceSheffield crowd wondered if they had the legs to come back again?

Andy Hirst scored on a Steeldogs advantage and when Ashley Calvert bundled the puck past Skinns in the Lightning goal to level, the unlikely looked possible. However when Lewis Hook scored soon after, MK looked comfortable as they kept the home side at bay. Their best chance was ruled out by the referee on the basis the puck had hit Skinns helmet. The Steeldogs didn't quit but couldn't find the goal to earn a draw.

A long weekend finished with three points out of a possible six.

Defenceman Lewis Bell (who had been out injured for three weeks) spoke afterwards about the team’s efforts; “It’s a disappointing result losing to Milton Keynes but it shows how far we have come as a team when we are disappointed to lose against a side of their quality. We feel frustrated, we feel we have given away goals had one or two calls not going our way, for example the goalie’s helmet call. This game is over now so we have to move on and look forward to the next games.

“We have had three big games this weekend and I am glad to be back and involved in these match ups. It’s been a tough weekend; I’m just getting some fitness back and found the game hard on the legs tonight. We feel a little beat up after these contests but most of us are young enough to recover and play three games in three nights.

“We have a tough home game on Sunday with the visit of the Basingstoke Bison - we had a lively game with them last time out! We are tight knit team and we are looking forward to the game. It probably will have a physical edge to it, as they always do against the Bison. The game last time left a sour taste in some people’s mouths but we aren’t looking to start anything, we just want to play. But if people are coming to seek retribution we have guys who are willing to stand up and answer the bell”.