VIDEO: Sheffield Steelers reach Challenge Cup quarters with controversial Braehead win
Steelers are through to the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup after beating Braehead 3-2.
The Clan felt a shot had beaten Ervins Mustukovs to equalise in the final 10 minutes but the officials ruled the puck had not hit the net.
I’m not convinced they got it right, but two wins over the weekend show Steelers are regaining some momentum.
Braehead, on the lookout for new players after a 7-1 home loss to Fife on Saturday, arrived late at the Arena after their bus broke down.
But they stood up to a series of raids in the early stages, playing with more defensive vigour that they’d shown the night before.
They defended a 5-on-3 Power Play, enjoying a shade of luck when Robert Dowd hit the post.
Steelers, who had executed a near perfect road game in the 3-2 win at Nottingham Panthers the night before, went off the boil for a while.
And that allowed former Steeler d-man Christoffer Bjorklund to engineer a couple of plays down the left .
Clan, who are one of the four Scottish sides languishing at the bottom of the 12-team League, held out for a goalless first session which was something of a triumph considering recent form.
Steelers needed someone with the fire and impact of Tim Cranston to liven things up - Turbo Tim was sat in the stands with his family.
Clan semmed to unravel after the break giving up three penalites which led to a personal quest of goals for Ben O’Connor, denied by goaltender Ryan Nie.
O’Connor hit the post on the second PP but on the third John Armstrong got the puck past Nie, thanks to an assist from home debutant Andreas Jamtin at 32;25.
Five minutes later it was 2-0 with Phillips potting a rebound, his second goal of the year.
Much to the bewidlerment of the Arena crowd Clan scored twice in 17 seconds, Ville Hämäläinen and Ryan Potulny equalising. That wasn’t expected, but Steelers’ response was a third from Andreas Valdix at 39:45.
Colton Fretter nipped around the goaltender on 41 minutes but his backhand squirted agonisingly across the goalline and out.
Clan could scent a way back and they thought they had it with 10 minutes to go.
From my position, a shot from their right flank seemed to hit the back of the net and come out, but referee Tom Darnell decided otherwise.