Sheffield Steelers move on up to third

Phil Hill - Sheffield Steelers v Dundee Stars 31/01/15
Phil Hill - Sheffield Steelers v Dundee Stars 31/01/15
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Steelers eased into third spot in the League after last night chalking up their fourth successive Elite League win.

While Sheffield had to go into overtime to get maximum points at Edinburgh, they kept their overall momentum going.

In five mad minutes they did surrender a 2-0 lead though - so there’s a lot to work to do ahead of Nottingham Panthers’ visit on Saturday.

Last night Michael Forney was clear at the back stick to get the Power Play opener on 13;10. Rob Dowd added a second six minutes later.

Colton Fretter’s luck ran out when a high stick smashed into his face, the wound needing stitches inside his mouth.

The misfortune was contagious. Caps’ Rene Jarolin beat Unice at 43;57 and five minutes later it was deadlock, Greg Collins getting the Scots’ second.

It had gone wrong quickly and despite a Sheffield Time Out the game went into overtime where defenceman Gord Baldwin’s 63rd minute effort chalked up another win.

On Saturday, Steelers, who had lost three out of their last four home league games, banged in six goals. Yet it wasn’t a game won solely on firepower, but strong defence too.

Darrell Hay revealed his team are more protective of Unice than of Frank Doyle.

“When you have a guy like Frank you relax so much you don’t commit to playing defence,” he said.

“With a new guy there is definitely that extra step, you are conscious of what you are doing. The biggest part of being successful is becoming simple in our end, being stingey back there.”

Steelers had the perfect penalty kill (0 for 5) and scored on four of seven Power Plays.

They needed that to put to bed a bottom-placed team they have bizarrely struggled at, away from home, this season.

Gerad Adams’ men had won (11-1) and lost (2-3) to Dundee in the space of four January days.

But there was no inconsistency on Saturday, with Unice chalking up up his second successive shut out, something he hadn’t done since the minors.

Tomas Petruska got the side off to a good start at 11;07.

Hay swept down Stars’s right flank to score and Michael Forney embarrassed the visiting goalie for a 3-0 lead.

Stars must have thought they had limited Sheffield to just one goal (from the returning Fretter) in the second period. But a second strike from Petruska with 64 seconds remaining killed off the game.

It was left to Fretter to seal their misery with the best of the night at 45;30.


Sunday 1st February

Elite League

Cardiff Devils 4 Coventry Blaze 5 (After Overtime)

Dundee Stars 1 Braehead Clan 3

Edinburgh Capitals 2 Sheffield Steelers 3 (After Overtime)

Hull Stingrays 3 Fife Flyers 4 (After Penalty Shootout)

Nottingham Panthers 1 Belfast Giants 0