Late drama: Sheffield Steelers 5-2 Guildford Flames (final score)

Sheffield Steelers came back from early reverse to boost their hopes of reaching the Play Off semi finals tonight after being shut out for the first two periods.

Saturday, 31st March 2018, 8:42 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st March 2018, 10:00 pm
Robert Dowd getting checked on the boards: Picture by Hayley Roberts

After an even start to their Arena match with Guildford Flames, Sheffield went behind.Davey Phillips having been adjudged as interfering, the Surrey side threw on an extra skater on the delayed penalty and Charles Wells scored through traffic.Mathieu Roy had two chances on one shift, but the most promising effort, a wrap-around, was stopped by Brian Stewart's pad and foot.Ervins Mustukovs, back after injury, had Kruise Reddick and Brett Ferguson efforts to repel as Guildford's speed continued to cause problems.Steelers, who had dropped Tim Wallace and Matt Marquardt from their over-full overseas quota, needed to find a Plan B in the second period.

Flames looked at home on Steelers' ice and their transition looked like troubling the home defence once the puck had turned over.

Robert Dowd getting checked on the boards: Picture by Hayley Roberts

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Roy surged through the middle to set up John Armstrong and Scott Aarssen had a decent chance but Stewart's big frame stood the test.

Roy hit the outside of Flames' post on the Power Play but Guildford stood firm - d-man Brennan Yadlowski blocking a shot with his body after his stick had snapped in half.

Steelers needed someone to take the game by the scruff of its neck.

John Armstrong stepped forward, galloped goalwards and equalised at 42;45.

Guildford Flames

But Sheffield conceded again.

Miika Franssila had heroically saved two shots off Steelers goal line but he couldn't be everywhere - and he was still on the ice when Brett Ferguson swept in a goal on the other side of the crease for 1-2.

But Sheffield again hit back.

A five on three power play was interrupted by a Paul Thompson Time Out.

Whatever he said worked, with Robert Dowd equalising with eight seconds left of the PP.

Sheffield then went into overdrive, Armstrong bagged his second and then Andreas Valdix weighed in with another.

Mark Matheson, who swept the board in the players' annual awards ceremony earlier in the week, made the game - and possibly the two-legged tie - safe with a late addition.

Robert Dowd getting checked on the boards: Picture by Hayley Roberts
Guildford Flames