Sheffield Steeldogs managed their first win of the season over arch rivals the Hull Pirates – and even an hour sat in the dark didn’t put them off their stride!
Steeldogs beat their Yorkshire neighbours 4-1, despite lighting issues similar to those that affected Sheffield Arena recently.
Pirates had claimed the win in the four previous games this season but Sheffield came out with determination and purpose and after decent pressure opened the score through Arnoldas Bosas at 9:55 on the power play.
Vlastimil Lakosil in the Hull goal faced a lot of rubber and on a further man advantage, Cole Shudra tapped home a Donatas Kumeliauskas rebound to put the Steeldogs firmly in charge.
It could have been 3-0 within seconds of the restart but the goal was washed out and soon after Josh Gent was in the right place to beat James Hadfield and get Hull on the board.
Steeldogs showed more character than has been often been the case this season and didn't fold. Tomas Brcko crashed the net to score number 3 and with other opportunities they were probably disappointed to not extend their lead.
Then the power suddenly went out at iceSheffield and the surrounding area.
Players and fans were left waiting over an hour, hoping that the problem would be fixed – and eventually it was. The teams had a mini warm-up and got back to the game.
Hull seemed to benefit from the extended break and came out pushing hard. The crucial period started at 46:26 when three penalties were called in a couple of minutes. The penalty killers dug in and Hadfield stood tall to deny the Pirates a chance to close the gap.
Cole Shudra’s second goal of the night at 54:41 calmed nerves and the Steeldogs held on for a 4-1 win.
Defenceman Tim Smith said: “I don't think I can explain how much it means to the boys when we beat Hull - there's no love lost. The two points are the most important thing but the beer will taste a little sweeter tonight knowing we've beaten Hull.
“We dominated the first two periods, we should have really put it to bed in the first. We missed a few chances and we had a couple disallowed. We cost ourselves some penalties in the third period, which probably we shouldn't have given that swings momentum back into their court, we were back on the back foot there for a while. We just had to ride the storm like we did. That's a lesson that we have to learn - when we are 3-1 or 4-1 up we shouldn't be taking penalties.
“Overall it was a good team performance. We had three solid lines and it's great to see Cole Shudra back and playing well. Hopefully we can just move on from this to Friday against Manchester and all being well, pick up two more vital points. Hopefully there should be additions to the line-up coming in this week, just giving us more strength in depth. Things are on the up and we will kick on from here”.
*Saturday’s game in Telford had been far from impressive with three very quick goals putting the league leaders in charge of a game they never looked in danger of losing.
6-0 down after two periods, Brandon Stones was given the call to replace James Hadfield in goal and a pair of Bosas goals helped Sheffield to tie the period as a Milan Kolena hat-trick led Telford to an 8-2 victory.