Sheffield Steeldogs remain in title contention
Sheffield Steeldogs hope to learn a lesson from defeat against Hull Pirates - they have to be more clinical in front of goal.
The big show down with Hull ended in a 3-6 disappointment. The Steeldogs created plenty of opportunities but saw too many shots missing the target and too many crucial passes not finding sticks.
Cam Brownley scored to tie the score early in the third period and in high-paced game both net minders were kept busy but Hull got the decisive late goals.
The effort from the Steeldogs in chasing for an equaliser can’t be questioned but puck luck was in short supply and conceding an empty netter and a further goal in the final seconds left a wider gap on the scoreboard than had been seen on the ice.
That defeat was followed by a bounce back 6-0 win against Solihull and then on Sunday lunchtime a demolition of the NIHL’s bottom placed Deeside Dragons by 16-2.
Hull were beaten by Telford on Saturday leaving the title picture as close and complicated as it has been for the past couple of months.
Whilst the Steeldogs destiny remains in their own hands, they would need to win their four remaining games to guarantee top spot, and with home and away games against Hull on the final weekend, that will not be easy.
This weekend they will look to take maximum points from the Whitley Warriors on Saturday at iceSheffeld before a trip to Blackburn to play the Hawks.
*The Steeldogs now know who they will be playing in the National Cup final – although when is more complicated!
The Dogs will play the Swindon Wildcats who presently sit third in the NIHL South and will be the first meeting between the two sides this season.
With Swindon also finalists in the Autumn Cup, the games won’t happen until both teams exit the play-offs. This means the games may be as early the weekend of March 24/25 but if either team qualifies for the Final Four Weekend in Coventry, then the cup games will be delayed until April 11th and 15th, with the first leg being played in Sheffield.