Double win bonus for Sheffield Steeldogs over Bracknell Bees
Sheffield Steeldogs secured home and away wins over Bracknell Bees and their first back-to-back four point weekends in a long time.
They went in to Saturday’s game without the injured Greg Wood and Lubomir Korhon who was starting a three game suspension.
The early exchanges were even but Tom Squires opened the flood gates at 9.55 and within five minutes the Steeldogs were 4-0 up courtesy of goals from Hirst, Smith and Calvert.
Only a late Kostourek goal put a slight blemish on a great period.
Sheffield continued to control the game and were 5-2 up as the second session ended.
The buzzer also signalled the boiling over of simmering tensions with a crowd scene in front of the Bracknell net.
Callum Pattison unloaded on Mark Galazzi following a number of incidents over the course of two games. This seemed to calm things and the final period was relatively low key with a great short-handed goal from Bosas a highlight as they home skated to a7-3 victory.
Coach Greg Wood said: “There were a lot of pleasing things, we dealt with the important things in the first period, we put the game to bed straight away, which was important for us.
"Bracknell are a team with some very skilled offensive players so we needed to get ahead and in control. We came out to play and the two events that changed the nature of the game weren’t instigated by us but we were at home and we had to answer the bell.
Lee Haywood added: “it was a pretty good performance apart from the last 30 seconds of the first two periods where we let ourselves down but we played some really nice hockey, moved the puck quickly and did what Woody wanted. We knew they were short on a few bodies so we wanted to make them play. They play a similar style to us and playing this three game series adds to the edge. We picked these out as important games for us and I guess they will be for them as well, so it all builds up the feelings.
Sunday’s rematch in Bracknell was a quiet game in comparison.
Steeldogs had to cope with losing two more players as Pattison was suspended and Calvert was out following a shoulder injury.
Two power play goals from Andy Hirst in the first period put Sheffield in the box seat and they stuck to the key task of winning the game, not getting dragged in to any rough stuff.
Hirst set up his line-mates Liam Charnock and Stanislav Lascek for goals which gave them another 4-0 lead. Bracknell threatened a comeback in the final stanza but a mix of determination and a goal from young Cole Shudra saw Sheffield through to 5-2 success and their third win over Bracknell in 8 days.
Speaking after the game, four point scoring Andy Hirst said “We were very disciplined and didn't get involved in anything, we concentrated on what we needed to do and we just reined it in when needed. We were very good on the powerplay in the first period, which set the tone.
"A few incidents from Bracknell went unpunished, we were getting riled by them but we kept our focus on the two points that were up for us to win. If we'd have gone after them we could have been in trouble because we were short benched as it was”.