EPL PLAY-OFFS: Steeldogs set up Phoenix clash

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SHEFFIELD Steeldogs are through to the semi-final of the EPL Play-offs and face a titanic struggle against arch rivals Manchester Phoenix.

Their last four match takes place on Saturday (7pm) at Coventry, the winner playing Guildford or Slough.

All four top-placed EPL teams are through, so it looks like being a highly competitive tournament. And it is a credit to the iceSheffield club that they have managed to compete so well amongst higher spending clubs.

Steeldogs, who had finished third in the leaguue enjoyed back-to-back 2-1 victories over Basingstoke Bison in the quarter final two-leg series (4-2 aggregate). In Sunday’s home decider, Dogs scored after three minutes, Pavel Gomeniuk firing the puck past Steven Wall on an early powerplay, assisted by Steve Duncombe.

The lead lasted until 17:34 when Steve Moria levelled.

Dogs then lost player coach Andre Payette, the third man in on an altercation involving Chris Wiggins and Gomeniuk.

It was a tense final session until Gomeniuk scored his second at 50:15 giving Steeldogs a semi-final slot.

In the first quarter final, Dogs goalie Ben Bowns won the man of the match for turning away 55 of 56 shots Craig Elliott (assisted Andre Hirst and Ashley Calvert) and Duncombe scored the Sheffield goals.