Sheffield Steelers concede eight goals in weekend of misery in post-Thompson era
If Mark Matheson didn't know before, he knows now. Sheffield Steelers are in a hole and face one hell of a job to get out of it.
The defenceman drafted into player-coach role after the exit ofÂ Paul Thompson started offÂ his new job with two defeats on this CV.Â It's hardly his fault: he played little part in the formation of a team which has now lost four outÂ of seven at home and four out of six away.
Saturday's 2-4 loss at home to Glasgow Clan preceded Sunday's 1-4 defeat at Fife Flyers.
Fife, rested after a SaturdayÂ off, had a lively start with Danick Gauthier arrowing the puckÂ at Jackson Whistle within the first few minutes.Â Whistle saved Steelers' bacon again, when Carlo Finucci set up Paul Crowder.
Sheffield were holding on, but not exercising much force at the opposite end.Â That changed when Rick Pinkston took a penalty at 13:10 and centreman Josh Pitt converted his eighth goal of the season, assisted by Matheson and Jonas Westerling, 38 seconds later.
Whistle was needed again for a sequence of stops, before the first interval halted Flyers' attacksÂ and the pattern continued after the break, the goalie containing a Pinkston effort.
The dam was breached at 26:44 though, Joe Basaraba tying the game at the back stick, for 1-1.
And when Tanner Eberle took a tripping minor, Fife took the leave at 32:35, Evan Bloodoff scoring onÂ the Scots' second power play of the night.Â The Flyers were flying.
Former Sheffield dman Scott Aarssen, who had warned his Fife club that "Steelers are going toÂ come to us guns blazing" powered a shot against the post asÂ Sheffield wereÂ outshot 15-5 in the middle session.
Fife got one thing wrong at the start of the third - they were late going out on the ice and earnedÂ a two minute penalty for delaying the game.
Steelers couldn't benefit and Fife took the game by the scruff of the neck, Basaraba beating theÂ overworked Whistle for a second time, with a blistering shot.
Finuci added a 58th minute empty net goal.