Ice Hockey Report: Sheffield Steelers 3 Nürnberg Ice Tigers 4 - Steelers give Germans a tough work-out

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Like any sport, it’s all about levels. Oh and money too.

Nürnberg Tigers are technically ahead of Steelers, individually and as a team - but then you’d expect that with a club bolstered by a salary budget of somewhere north of £5m a year.

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Jonas Westerling scores for the Steelers. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Jonas Westerling scores for the Steelers. Picure: Chris Etchells

It should be a comfort that Steelers can see themselves as only one goal shy of being DEL division quality.

Steelers, who had been over-run at times in a 4-2 reverse against the same team on Saturday, did better on Sunday night, despite the injury absence of Matt Marquardt.

They could have nicked a draw at the death.

The machine that is Nurnberg clicked in with Sheffield goalie Ervins Mustukovs suddenly facing point blank efforts from Patrick Reimer and Yasin Ehliz .

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Picure: Chris Etchells

Leo Pföderl’e sffort was rebounded for Marco Pfleger to open the scoring for Tigers at 6.56.

Danger lurked even when Steelers went on the Power Play, former Montréal Canadiens man Brett Festerling ringing the puck off the bar.

But German goalie Niklas Treutle was beaten 29 seconds into the middle session, a rebound off his chest being planted home by Jonas Westerling.

Within three minutes, Tigers were back in charge, though, Steven Reinprecht neatly tucking the puck home at the near post.

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Jonas Westerling scores for the Steelers. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Jonas Westerling scores for the Steelers. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield could have taken the lead for the first time in the weekend but Colton Fretter couldn’t bury a breakaway and Andreas Valdix couldn’t profit from an Oliver Mebus turn-over.

It proved costly with a silky passing move finished off by Mebus for 1-3, from Taylor Aronson’s feed.

Liam Kirk was stripped of the puck in the offensive zone and Mustukovs had to bail his young team-mate out.

You had to admire Rob Wilson’s team’s quick thinking and positional acumen, as well as a quality in finishing that Steelers found it hard to replicate.

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Jonas Westerling scores for the Steelers. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Jonas Westerling scores for the Steelers. Picure: Chris Etchells

Fretter, though, has been Steelers biggest offensive oal threat recently and he tapped in John Armstrong’s pass to reduce the arrears at 44;03. Yet it took Dane Fox just 41 seconds to re-establish their two-goal advantage, at 2-4.

Tigers wanted to improve on their Saturday night score and hit the pipework twice on the Power Play.

But they didn’t have it all their own way.

Steelers pulled their goalie and Mathieu Roy scored a third with 97 seconds left to set up an enthralling finish.

Sheffield coach Paul Thompson said: “I thought we were better in the second game this weekend, against a very highly talented team.”

But he said his team had been punished for turning over too many pucks in Sunday’s first period.

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Jonas Westerling for the Steelers. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Jonas Westerling for the Steelers. Picure: Chris Etchells

“We came back stronger after that and we nearly got ourselves back in with a tie.

“We’ve really enjoyed our matches against the Tigers, they were played in the right way.”

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Steelers player Scott Aarssen. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Steelers player Scott Aarssen. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Steelers player Levi Nelson. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Steelers player Levi Nelson. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Steelers player Cole Shudra. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Steelers player Cole Shudra. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Steelers player Mathieu Roy. Picure: Chris Etchells

Sheffield Steelers v Nurnberg Ice Tigers. Steelers player Mathieu Roy. Picure: Chris Etchells