Sheffield Steeldogs suffered another pair of defeats at the hands strong opposition.
They dipped 5-2 at home to Peterborough Phantoms before losing 4-2 at Telford Tigers.
The visit of the Peterborough gave Sheffield the chance to try and rack up a first win of the campaign against the side that they may well face in the playoffs.
Milan Baranyk but the visitors in front but not for long as Lubomir Korhon levelled before a puck trickled past Auzins for a goal given to Cole Shudra.
A Bebris shot deflected off Lee Haywood's skate to even it up at 2-2.
Baranyk scored the only goal of the second as the game remained a lively, close affair before the Phantoms turned the screw in the final period with goals from Pliskauskas and Padelek. There was plenty of huff and puff as the Steeldogs tried to reduce the margin but they couldn't find a way past the Latvian wall in the Peterborough goal.
D-man and birthday boy, Lewis Bell shared his thoughts post-game; “It's frustrating and disappointing at the minute when we play Peterborough. They always seem to capitalise on their chances against us, we have to stay switched on in the game. You can't give their guys time to shoot. They had a few lucky bounces and goals in off our sticks and skates.
“We hope we get the chance to put this right in the play offs. To beat Peterborough we have to be on our game for sixty minutes and not concede two or three goals in the space of five minutes. Although they have beaten us five times in a row, I think we match each other quite well. We just need to find a way to beat Auzins!”
Trips to Telford have not been the happiest for the Steeldogs and the challenge on Sunday was made all the tougher with a lines worth of forwards missing. Callum Pattison took a regular shift and kept the local fans entertained as they greeted his every shift with chorus of donkey noises. The big Geordie shrugged it off and showed there is more to his game than scrapping.
Sheffield proved equal to their big spending rivals in a scoreless first period but they lost Stanislav Lascek who went down after a collision. The Tigers scored on power play opportunities early and late in the second period to put them in charge before Arnoldas Bosas reminded the hosts of why he is the league’s top scorer with another goal.
Makrov scored Telford’s third power play goal of the night but Bosas cut the deficit back to one with five minutes to go. Dalibor Sedlar was pulled in favour of an extra attacker but Szabo scored an empty net goal in the final seconds.
Lee Haywood was disappointed but felt there were positives to be taken from the game: “The result was important tonight because we are building up to the play offs, all we are wanting now are some good performances. We have struggled a bit of late so it’s important for us to get those performances. I think Woody (Coach Greg Wood) will be pleased with what we did tonight - we just fell short. We need to be a bit more clinical coming into the business end of the season.
“We have to get into that play off mentality now. We definitely want to try and make it to Coventry. We have to do everything right to make it and prepare for those two massive games. It won't matter who it is that we play against, we have to be ready”.
Steeldogs have just four games remaining with their final home game next Saturday night against the bottom of the table Bracknell Bees.
*Arnoldas Bosas second goal in Telford took him to 50 goals for the season.