Sheffield Steelers 5-2 Fife Flyers - Back to winning ways as Steelers wait on possible COVID restrictions

Steelers got back into the winning rhythm with a comfortable 5-2 win over Fife Flyers...

Sunday, 24th October 2021, 8:20 pm
Robert Dowd gets the plaudits for the Steelers after scoring.

Sheffield had dropped a Challenge Cup point at Nottingham Panthers (4-3 OT loss) on Saturday. But they were dominant in the League encounter on home ice… Fife fell apart in the third period as Sheffield threatened to run up the score.

Two years ago, to the month, Steelers had whacked 10 past Fife, but Sunday's first period seemed to be an exercise in failing to score despite a similar level of domination.

Sheffield's offensive units powered in plenty of shots on goalie Shane Owen, however, precision was missing. Tanner Eberle and Robert Dowd were among those working feverishly to create chances. But a warning was served when Fife mounted a rare attack and goalie Barry Brust's pads prevented James Anderson from recording an unlikely Flyers' lead.

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Power plays arrived to help Aaron Fox's men. While they could not execute on a 33-second 5-on-3, in the final second of the 5-on-4, Robert Dowd finally opened the scoring at 17:59… But Brust was unable to poke out his leg in time to stop Craig Peacock shooting low into the net from between the circles, 79 seconds later.

The middle 20 minutes was a similar story of wave after wave of Steeler attacks.

Marco Vallerand can count himself unfortunate not to have bagged a hat-trick as Fife denied Sheffield space and Owen remained focused on getting the puck clear. Finnish centreman Matias Sointu, making his home debut was hacked down en route to goal.

The Scots killed the resulting penalty, but Sheffield broke through again when Adrian Saxrud-Danielsen's shot was tipped home by Anthony DeLuca, despite the attentions of his marker Kristian Blumenschein.

Fife, who had two fewer players on their roster, had Jonas Emmerdahl ejected for boarding Davey Phillips. That rung the death knell on their ambitions. Two power-play goals in two minutes from Evan Mosey and Martin Latal went on the board before Owen dropped a clanger with Vallerand's shot which rung up a 5-1 scoreline.Fife nabbed a goal back on a power-play via Matthew Carter.

Meanwhile, Steelers' owner Tony Smith is anxiously waiting to find out what, if any, Covid associated restrictions maybe brought into indoor sports over the next few weeks… With coronavirus cases expected to rise, fans in England may be told to wear masks, at least – the owner has stated before that social distancing in the seats would severely affect finances.

Smith is hoping for some clarity on the matter by the end of next month. He has not ruled out the possibility of fans wearing masks or providing 'vaccine passport' qualifications.

He said: "As in 18 months ago, we must do what we are told, whether that's by the Government or by our landlords (Sheffield Arena)."

Tanner Eberle takes a tumble

English indoor sports may have to follow the model used in Wales by Cardiff Devils. Face coverings are required there for indoor events. In Belfast, Giants' fans have been asked to observe entry requirements, like full vaccination proof or a Lateral Flow Test.

Jonathan Phillips chases the puck.