Sheffield Steelers’ roller-coaster weekend

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Who was that man in the rafters high above Sheffield Arena on Saturday?

Was it an electrician fixing the dodgy lights?

Michael Forney against  Cardiff Devils at the Arena

Michael Forney against Cardiff Devils at the Arena

Or Steelers’ owner Tony Smith, leaning over the edge and considering his options after a fluctuating start to the season?

Spare him a thought. Smith’s bankrolled a new team and hoped to watch the good times roll. Then he lost Tyler Mosienko for five games for misconduct at another club and two other north Americans (Morency and Sarich) with injury.

The Arena pad leaked and revenue from two home games went with it.

And then when the big night came on Saturday - a banner-raising, fanfare for last seasons Play Off win - his team flopped despite winning with 47 seconds left.

Oh and there’d been that minor matter of Arena lights not functioning properly.

Last night, Steelers made up for it was a dramatic overtime win in Coventry.

But you have to win your home games if you are going to fill seats for anything other than a Nottingham game, who, incidentally are in town on Saturday.

The best player on ice on Saturday was from Swinton, Rotherham.

Ben Bowns, the Cardiff goaltender, was sensational in the first period; he had no right to catch a hardshot from Cullen Eddy on nine minutes.

Steelers marginally outshot Devils early on, but the warning signs were there.

Joey Martin had struck Frank Doyle’s bar after giving Jay Latulippe the slip.

However debutant Mosienko set up Darrell Hay for 1-0 (24;14.)

Four minutes later, a deflected Matt Myers shot made it 1-1.

Then a peculiar moment when Forney’s shot bounced off the back stanchion of Bowns’ net.

The forward celebrated but ref Tom Darnell peered several times at the goal judge, who hadn’t given it.

It was clearly a goal. Even the Cardiff player in the penalty box Luke Piggott conceded it had gone in.

Play continued. Two minutes elapsed before a linesman told Darnell he was sure Forney’s effort HAD crossed the line. So it was given, a victory for common sense.

But common sense deserted Steelers in the last period

Devils, who had lost so much energy penalty killing, dug deep.

With two minutes left, the game should have been wrapped up yet Gord Baldwin conceded a boarding penalty.

Devils pulled their goalie and Myers nabbed his second of the night.

In overtime, Cardiff scampered around the Arena as if they owned the joint.

The game went to penalty shots: Jake Morissette and Martin scored for the Welsh, Forney and Mosienko failed - ruining the owner’s night.

Last night, ex Steelers skipper Steve Goertzen had the first big chance but couldn’t beat Doyle, while Cale Tanaka hit the bar.

In the middle period Craig Cescon struck the post from the point,

Steelers took the lead at 37.14, Baldwin slapping the puck home. It was a cagey affair, with Kyle Bochek equalising at 42;01.

Yet the momentum swung back to Sheffield 13 seconds later, with Forney putting Steelers back in the driving seat.

With three minutes 50 seconds to go, Jereme Tendler made it 2-2, to send the game into OT.

Mosienko scored the winner with five seconds remaining.

Other Sunday results:

28th September 2014

Elite League

Hull Stingrays 0 Braehead Clan 2

Elite League/Challenge Cup Group A

Belfast Giants 1 Fife Flyers 6

Challenge Cup Group A

Dundee Stars 6 Edinburgh Capitals 4

Challenge Cup Group B

Cardiff Devils 5 Nottingham Panthers 2