Steelers lose a player – and then the game: Manchester Storm 5-4 Sheffield Steelers
Sheffield Steelers' mixed weekend results - they beat Coventry but lost to Manchester - were further marred by a three-match suspension to Jordan Owens for a check to the head deemed "reckless" by League officials.
Owens had executed a mid-ice hit on Coventry Blaze's Ben Lake which the disciplinary judges ruled had "no regard for the puck" – his hit was "avoidable and deemed very dangerous."
So the banned Owens was missing from Steelers' Sunday 5-4 loss at Manchester Storm.
It was a game Steelers couldn't contemplate losing as Storm, like Blaze, lied beneath them in the standings. Manchester were in no mood for anything other than a home victory though after dipping at bottom club Milton Keynes Lightning the night before.
And it took Storm only 80 seconds to light up the rink, Luke Moffatt beating Jackson Whistle.
But Eric Neiley stunned the home supporters at 4;05 when he scored unassisted, with a backhand, while on his knees. Just 58 seconds later, Evan McGrath buried a Ryan Martinelli rebound off goalie Matt Ginn to put the visitors 2-1 ahead.
The see-saw game was all square again when Ciaran Long banged in a cracking shot at 13;08.
Manchester though repeated their first period success of an early Moffatt goal to stake a 3-2 lead at 21;52.
A review of a 'goal' by McGrath ended in disappointment for Steelers, who thought they had clawed their way back into the game.
Jonathan Phillips had his own difficulties to deal with - he was thrust into the boards from behind leading to a 2+10 Boarding/misconduct for Moffatt, at 27:46.
And to cap it all, Tanner Eberle back in the weekend line-up after injury, had a 'goal' disallowed and Jonas Westerling and Martinelli picked up injuries.
The team looked down to its bare bones. But a power play brought them level again, Tom Zanoski netting unassisted at 40;27.
And that was quickly followed by a 4-3 well-struck, go-ahead goal for Jonathan Phillips.
But the eighth goal of the evening went on a power play to Storm's Long, his second of the night. And Manchester over-ran Steelers' penalty killers again for Mike Hammond's winner.