Sheffield Steeldogs Coach Greg Wood was left fuming at a controversial late call that gave the visiting Peterborough Phantoms a decisive power play goal leading to a 6-4 defeat.
Cole Shudra was binned for an alleged interference penalty and when a Phantom more blatantly interfered with Lubomir Korhon soon after, referee Miller called nothing.
It was a disappointing end to what had been an exciting game of hockey.
Steeldogs were missing Lascek, Calvert and Wood to injury but the short benched side worked hard and the top line combination of Korhon/Bosas/Squires generated the opening goal for Lee Haywood in the 9th minute of the game.
The goal came just after a fight between Callum Pattison and Greg Pick; the Geordie Steeldog stepping in after Pick had chased Craig Elliott up the ice for tangling with Auzins on the Phantoms net.
The second period was a bit of a shootout with Korhon and Bosas both scoring only to see their efforts matched. Peterborough’s depth of talent showed and in the last five minutes of the period, Pliskauskas and Padelek scored to put them 4-3 up.
However the Steeldogs held back the tide of attacks in the final period and Tom Squires scored at 51.09 to level with the fourth goal on the night from his line.
The game was decided by the late call on Shudra with Pliskauskas scoring during the advantage and adding an empty net goal in the final second.
The teams didn’t complete the traditional end of game hand shake as frustrations led to a minor confrontation between players on both sides.
Greg Wood’s frustrations were clear after the game: “It was a fantastic game of hockey, a great advert for two teams but it was spoiled by one person and his two friends, I’m afraid. Referees have got a really tough job but when they are constantly ignoring certain things that we are constantly penalised for, I’ve got nothing positive to say about that - it’s really killed us tonight.
"He’s called a penalty on a 17 year old with four minutes to go on the game; it’s a tough one to swallow.
“I’m totally proud of everyone’s performance, if we’d got a point tonight like we did against MK last week, those kinds of teams are coming here and we are competing, and not just competing but dominating at times.
“The boys have been great and hopefully next week will be our first glimpse of getting a full team back. Finger’s crossed well see how Stano (Lascek) goes, I’ve seen him working out in the past week, and hopefully we’ll introduce him to the ice this week. I had a skate on Tuesday but had a bit of setback but I’ll be practicing twice this week and hopefully be back for Saturday. I felt for them tonight, we were down to two lines most of the night. It’s tough against a team like Peterborough who’ve got three good lines, 6 good D that they play, you’re always going to run out steam and that was the case in the second period tonight”.
Next Game: Saturday 24th 7.30 at iceSheffield vs. Basingstoke Bison.