Sheffield Steeldogs weekend got off to a bad start as they found themselves on the wrong end of an 11-1 score down in Swindon on Saturday night.
The game started well enough and when Tim Smith scored in the 10th minute the sides were level at 1-1.
However a mix of indiscipline and one-sided officiating cost them as the Wildcats took a three goal lead – all on the power play.
Only a couple of weeks after they held Swindon to just one goal, the Steeldogs defence was in disarray and offered Dalibor Sedlar limited cover as the home team’s import talent ran riot; Sami Ryhanen finishing with SIX assists and Tomasz Malasinski getting a hat-trick.
Sunday at iceSheffield saw a very different display and a show of character to bounce back from the events of the night before.
Against the MK Lightning, Tom Squires struck early and after an equalizer from Marko Luomala, Ashley Calvert and Squires again scored to put the Steeldogs in the box seat at the first break.
The Lightning clawed their way back in and goal in each period took the game to overtime where in the frenetic 3 on 3 action, Squires had four chances to finish the game but ran out of luck.
He was also one of the Steeldogs shooters when it went to penalty shots, none were successful with Luomala’s strike giving the Lightning the extra point.
A penalty shot loss by the narrowest of margins and a good result, especially after the long and fruitless trip to Swindon.
After the game, coach Wood commented “We were all really, really down after last night’s game and it was a big hit on morale, crushing.
All I asked for today was a reaction and that’s what we got tonight. If we’d been blown out of the water or had a bad performance tonight, this week would have been tough so I was just looking for a reaction, a spark and that’s what we got.
That’s a very good team we’ve played Milton Keynes, they’re top of the league for a reason and in the first period I thought we played really well, controlled the game until we took penalties in the second period.
“I think we were good for the two points in overtime, we went for it and we hit a post, we had two cleared off the line but overall to take a point off MK and that’s now 3 from 4 against them now, I couldn’t be any happier”.
Tom Squires was also pleased with the performance; “I think we did well. It’s always tough to come back from a big loss, both mentally and physically but all the boys responded brilliantly. We came out with a big first period and were disappointed to lose it on penalty shots.
"Dali (Dalibor Sedlar) did a fantastic job, kept us in the game and fully deserved his man of the match award. To take a point from the top of the league team is massive, they’re flying at present so without an import that’s a great result”.
Next home game: Saturday October 17th vs. Peterborough Phantoms, 19.30 face-off at iceSheffield.