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.

Sunday, 24th February 2019, 20:16 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th February 2019, 20:22 pm
Jordan Owens fighting against Coventry

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.

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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. 

Ben O'Connor gets involved against Coventry

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.