Victory for play off hunting Steelers: Sheffield 4-1 Fife Flyers

Sheffield Steelers secured their third consecutive home win tonight, as they overpowered top-eight rivals Fife Flyers.

By Bob Westerdale, Head of Sport
Saturday, 9th March 2019, 5:34 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th March 2019, 8:43 pm
Jonas Westerling on the boards against Fife. Pic by Hayley Roberts
Jonas Westerling on the boards against Fife. Pic by Hayley Roberts

Steelers, desperate for points against playoff qualification rivals who started the night a point and a place ahead of Sheffield, had Jordan Owens back from two-match suspension.

And they were good value for the victory which hoisted them above Fife in the standings.

Steelers' first goal came from Robert Dowd, tipping in a Tom Zanoski's shot after sustained pressure on in the Scots' zone, at 10;26.

It had been a while since he scored, and he enjoyed his celebration moment.

Eric Neiley could have had another, but his shot ringed off the near post.

Before that, Brett Bulmer had posed a threat, as did Danick Gauthier.

Jonas Westerling on the boards against Fife. Pic by Hayley Roberts

But Sheffield were the better skating side, Anthony DeLuca struck the pipework and looked a menace and the home side deserved to go into the first break with their goal advantage.

The officials had to consult the video review screen after a raid on the Flyers' goal at the start of the second period; the puck hadn't crossed the line.

And Shane Owen in the away goal ensured it stayed a one-goal game when he glove-saved from Jonas Westerling.

Tempers boiled over when Davey Phillips ploughed Bulmer into the end boards at 35;27.

Ryan Martinelli unhappy with a Fife rival

Gauthier picked up a roughing penalty but Phillips was hit by a 2+10 for checking from behind.

On the resulting Fife powerplay, Carlo Finnuci scored a brilliant equaliser at 36;39: he picked the puck up on the right flank, skated across the slot, past Ryan Martinelli and then shot low into the net, past defending Josh Pitt and goalie Jackson Whistle.

Sheffield, though, grabbed the match by the scruff of its neck in the last period.

A spectacular effort from Ben O'Connor went to video review and was granted, the goal awarded to Eric Neiley, at 44:16.

Less than two minutes later Dowd banged in his second of the evening, after John Armstrong had driven the puck into the danger area.

Davey Phillips suffered a nasty stick-in-the-face injury with six minutes remaining, Finnuci getting a 2+2 penalty.

Victory was ensured when Neiley bulldozed his way in and scored from close range.