Steelers’ forward Jonathan Phillips admitted the team let their coaches down with a home defeat against second-from-bottom Fife Flyers.
It was a particularly difficult and poignant statement to make - as head coach Doug Christiansen is in America mourning his father and his deputy Marc Lefebvre started his first match in charge with defeat to a club with a far smaller budget.
Reflecting on Saturday’s 3-2 loss, Phillips said: “We let ourselves down but more than that we let Favor (Lefebvre) and the whole coaching staff down. It was a poor performance in our own barn we have got to put these teams to bed. There’s no excuse, we were rubbish - we cannot expect to turn results round in the third period and win a game, it doesn’t work like that.”
Not for the first time this season, Steelers went behind to an early goal: Bobby Chaumont netting at 2;50, Jordan Fulton adding another on 14 minutes. Rob Dowd got one back, but that was cancelled out 37 seconds later, Chaumont beating Frank Doyle for a second time.
A heavyweight scrap between Tim Spencer of Steelers and Matt Nickerson livened things up, Sheffield could only find one other goal, Phillips at 53.57.
Asked about early conceding, Phillips said: “It’s frustrating we just have to come out like we do in the third period, no thinking, we just have to be switched on from that first drop of the puck.
“We were missing assignments and not sticking to our game plan. That gets into into individual play.”
Last night, at Coventry Blaze, they had a point to prove, but against a side that won at Nottingham Panthers the previous evening.
Sheffield goalie Doyle had a great first period but couldn’t stop Gerome Giudice putting the Midlanders 1-0 up at 36.39, after a move featuring ex-Steeler Ashley Tait.
Eleven minutes later goal magnet Stefan Meyer levelled - it was game on. At 53.47 Tait punished his former employers again. But Spencer levelled at 57.43.
Fifty eight seconds into overtime Ryan Ginand sealed it for Coventry - a 3-2 win, but at least an overtime point for Sheffield.