A penalty shot shoot out victory handed Sheffield Steelers one of their best European results ever today.
In their third game in three nights, an undermanned Steelers dominated Slovenian side Olimpija Ljubljana and deserved the penalty shot win after the sides had drawn 2-2 in regular time of this friendly in Hungary.
Aaron Nell and Drew Fata had scored the goals, before Jeff Legue and Rylan Galiardi hit home penalty shots.
Goalie Frank Doyle made the crucial save, his 7th in 8 penalty shots against him as the shoot out went into 3 rounds.
“Our hard work has been rewarded” said head coach Doug Christiansen.
“It was a tough weekend with all the bodies out of the line up and those in the line up that are all beat up. I’m happy for the guys, they beat a very good team and not get to enjoy that feeling.
“I thought we played well for the most part, our worst period was our 3rd but when you think that was our 9th in just 3 days I will take that. We dominated overtime. It was a great way to end the weekend. Earlier we had put some pressure on the guys to get a win and they did that”.
*Steelers were hammered 5-0 on Saturday. The team, without injury victims Dustin Kohn, Steven Goertzen, Robert Dowd and and Chad Langley, nosedived to Swiss A Division side Ambri Piotta, in Hungary.
“We may have lost the game but as far as I am concerned we are 2 for 2 in terms of 100% effort and commitment” said head coach Doug Christiansen.
“All a coach can ask is that his team play’s their best game and our players did tonight, as they did in Kosice last night. Every single one of them played the best they could and gave me all the effort they possibly had.
“That’s the best team we will face all year and to do that with just 9 forwards and 4 D tells me a lot about the character of the team”
Ambri speed and skill was on show from the start leading 2-0 after the first period 3-0 by the 40 minute mark with two further late goals rounding off their outstanding performance.
“We had some chances, Aaron Nell at the end of the first period, if that had gone in it may have changed the game a little” continued Christiansen
“Now we look ahead to tomorrow, if we put in the same effort then win, lose or draw I’m going to be proud of them. We wanted this team to come together and not many things bring you together more than the adversity that we faced tonight against a great team, great opponents. That’s what you want, you want to be tested and feel you achieved something, tonight we were in the trenches together and we will be in the trenches again tomorrow. I like that about our team. You can’t have better team building than this”
Steelers return home on Tuesday to prepare for the start of the EIHL season and their first home game next Sunday 8th September against the Nottingham Panthers.