SHEFFIELD took a 2-0 first period lead over Coventry Blaze at Sheffield Arena tonight, but then surrendered the advantage in a limp middle session, losing out eventually 4-3.
A fine Tylor Michel Goal and a poke-in from Ashley Tait put Steeler in the driving seat.
Coventry were poor - and could have been further behind at the first break.
Sheffield’s Brit pack were in dominating form.
But the home side collapsed in a 1-3 middle period.
Greg Leeb and Gerome Giuidice levelled in eight minutes.
And then Mike Schutte put Blaze 3-2 up.
Jeff Legue levelled before Benn Olson fought with Drew Fata.
Steelers coach Ryan Finnerty was incensed that Olson should have got an instigator call - as well as a number of other uncalled infringements against his opponents.
He gave the officials a barrage in the second break.
Schutte scored the winner with a long range Power Play point shot.
It left owner Tony Smith cursing the team - and promising extra training on the squad’s day off tomorrow.
Saturday report: Sheffield Steelers were unable to find their sixth League victory out of seven tonight.
They failed to light the blue touch paper and were beaten 2-1 by Nottingham Panthers.
Neither side could find a goal in the first session at Sheffield Arena this evening.
That changed 51 seconds into the second session when Jordan Fox scored from a Pat Galivan feed, to see the visitors forge ahead.
But Jeff Legue, so often Steelers’ saviour, levelled from Cory Pecker and Ashley Tait at 35.12.
It was a tense encounter - and one you’d have difficulty in guessing the winner with minutes remaining on the clock.
Certainly, it couldn’t be resolved in regulation time.
So the extra period followed the first hour’s play.
And that was followed by penalties, and heartbreak, as Panthers scored the decisive goals via Matt Francis and David Ling, Legue and Colin Shields failing to convert.
A big crowd- but only a point reward for Sheffield.
Ryan Finnerty’s men remain top of the Elite League. All the other teams have games in hand, however.
*Steelers host Coventry Blaze tomorrow.
*Full weekend round-up in Monday’s Star.
Cardiff Devils 4 Edinburgh Capitals 1
Sheffield Steelers 1 Nottingham Panthers 2 (After Penalty Shootout)
Challenge Cup Group A
Belfast Giants 3 Braehead Clan 2
Challenge Cup Group B
Coventry Blaze 6 Hull Stingrays 5 (After Penalty Shootout)