Steelers title hopes damaged by Clan setback

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Braehead Clan 4 Sheffield Steelers 3 (after overtime)

Steelers chances of taking the league title suffered a setback as Braehead Clan snatched an overtime victory.

The opening period started badly for Steelers as after only 3.08 Jade Galbraith made a great lateral move across the ice, beating the defence to fire high into the net.

It took Steelers until the 7th minute to seriously test young Clan goaltender Mike Will and it was Steve Birnstill who forced him into a smart glove save. Steelers were given a powerplay at 12.04 with Clan player-coach Drew Bannister off for interference but could not make it count.

John DeCaro had trouble with a Matt Haywood shot early in the 17th minute but was beaten again at 16.39 when Mike Wirll wristed home from the left circle short side and Steelers ended the period on the penalty kill after Mark Thomas went for tripping at 19.37.

The early stages of the second period saw Steelers continue to struggle to create much offence but after a delay for plexi repairs Steelers started to come more into the contest.

And after a short spell of four on four with both player-coaches off for minor penalties Steelers turned the game with two goals in 40 seconds.

Colt King was first on the mark at 30.01 with a smart wrist shot in front of the net and then at 30.41 Jeff Legue one-timed a low shot past Will from the right circle to tie the game.

An exciting third period ensued with both teams going for it. Controversy in the 45th minute when Mike Bayrack had the puck in the net but it was ruled off by ref.

But just after that Clan did go ahead when Brock McPherson forced the puck in from the edge of the crease.

Luke Fulghum broke clear but hit the crossbar with his shot, although Steelers claimed the puck had gone in and as play raged from end to end it was Steelers who tied it at 54.19 when a shot by Mike Ramsay squirmed through Will.

That took the goal into overtime where Bayrack fired home for Clan at 63.21 to win it for the home side.