Sheffield Steelers 5 MAC Budapest 4: Three wins from three in pre-season for Fox's men
Sheffield Steelers concluded their pre-season game schedule with their third win out of their three games.
Saturday night saw them beat MAC Budapest 5-4; a decent result in their first Sheffield Arena game of the 2019-20 campaign.
Their power play was efficient and their defensively they had seemed sound...until some late lapses brought about a tight finish.
Steelers took a firm grip of the first 20-minutes, scoring three power play goals and keeping clean sheet.
They had to withstand some early pressure, with Tamas Pozsgai missing a good chance and Thomas Klempa rattling Pavel Kantor's home post.
But at 8;46 Tanner Eberle tipped in Ben O'Connor's shot for 1-0. And less than two minutes later, he did the same again from Jonas Liwing's effort.
The visitors didn't do any better on the penalty kill just before the first interval, Michael Davies firing cleanly from the slot.
Budapest had certainly had their moments, but Kantor only had a couple of quality saves to make.
MAC got on the board four minutes after the first break.
Michael Davies had hit the side of their post but Budapest counter-attacked, short-handed, and Brance Orban beat Kantor.
It seemed a minor set-back.
Anthony DeLuca tapped in from close range and then immediately acknowledged the help from Jonas Liwing.
And a fourth power play goal made it 5-1, Nikolai Lemtyugov stealing the puck away from the goalie's glove from point-blank range.
Lemtyugov thought he'd got his second of the night, but was thwarted by a fine save.
For a few minutes, Budapest looked like they had lost their appetite for the game, but nothing could have been further from the truth.
They found their mojo - whipping in three quick goals, exposing tiredness in the home ranks: Richard Kedves, Scott Macaulay and Istvan Sofron beating Tomas Duba, who had taken over from Kantor between the sticks.
Sheffield had a two-minute 5-on-3 power play but were lacklustre and couldn't prize the Hungarians apart.
And, after such a late charge from Budapest, Steelers could be thankful for the win.
But the serious stuff starts next weekend...