Edinburgh Capitals 2-2 Sheffield Steelers (match report)
Injury-hit Sheffield Steelers start all square when they host Edinburgh Capitals in the second leg of their Challenge Cup quarter final on Saturday.
The South Yorkshire side, missing centremen Yared Hagos and Andreas Valdix, twice came back from being behind, thanks to goals from Guillaume Desbiens in the 2-2 tie in Scotland.
The result showed the fighting qualities of the side.
Both sides had been full of attacking ideas, Jonathan Phillips failing to bury a breakaway.
While Ian Schultz was equally unfortunate after knifing through the visitors defence.
The big Canadian forward was hard to tie down and he banged the puck of Ervins Mustukovs bar in another let-off for Paul Thompson’s men. And Schultz was involved in the first period’s only goal.
He collected a bounce from his initial shot and fed Michael D’Orazio to make it 1-0 at 15:53.
Mustukovs prevented Pavel Vorobyev, the ex NHLer who had scored a hat-trick earlier in the season against him, minutes later.
Sheffield came within an inch of equalising when on-form Colton Fretter pinged the post, the puck moving along the goal line before being swallowed up by goalie Travis Fullerton.
With two attackers out injured, it was down to d-man Zack Fitzgerald to show the creative side of his game.
He skated skilfully into a good position, setting up Guillaume Desbiens to make it 1-1 at 23:10.
Winger Desbiens, amongst others, then showed his defensive skills as Sheffield killed a long 5-on-3 penalty.
Steelers went behind, at 43:22 in controversial style - the goal judge did not appear to give it but Edinburgh-based referee Pavel Halas awarded the strike to Vorobyev.
Steelers got their reward with Desbien’s second equaliser of the night with under three minutes left.
n Belfast Giants forward David Rutherford has been banned for two matches for checking to Hagos to the head in last weekend’s match at Sheffield Arena.
Result: Wednesday 23rd November
Challenge Cup 1/4 Final 1st leg
Edinburgh Capitals 2 Sheffield Steelers 2
Friday 25th November
Nottingham Panthers v Belfast Giants – 7.30pm
Saturday 26th November
Coventry Blaze v Cardiff Devils 7.00pm
Fife Flyers v Braehead Clan – 7.15pm
Manchester Storm v Belfast Giants – 7.00pm
Challenge Cup 1/4 Final 2nd leg
Sheffield Steelers v Edinburgh Capitals – 7.00pm
(at ice Sheffield)
Sunday 27th November
Cardiff Devils v Sheffield Steelers – 6.00pm
Dundee Stars v Manchester Storm – 6.30pm
Edinburgh Capitals v Braehead Clan – 6.00pm
Nottingham Panthers v Fife Flyers 4.00pm