Sheffield Steelers’ woes in front of goal continue at Glasgow

Steelers need to rediscover their scoring touch after being blanked 2-0 at Glasgow Clan.
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Wednesday night's shutout defeat means they have scored just twice in the last three hours of hockey.

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That's hardly perfect preparation for Friday’s visit to champions Belfast Giants and the upcoming Play Off tournament.

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Sheffield ran Clan close, admitting defeat with only nine seconds left to a Mathieu Roy empty-netter at Braehead Arena.

But their failure to execute three power plays had cost them.

If the club was looking for a tonic after losing the EIHL title to Belfast last Sunday, this wasn't it.

Coach Aaron Fox said he was disappointed by his team's slow start but maybe that was to be expected given the changes made in the roster.

Evan Mosey competes at Glasgow. Pic by Al Goold.Evan Mosey competes at Glasgow. Pic by Al Goold.
Evan Mosey competes at Glasgow. Pic by Al Goold.
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He'd gifted three of his regular imports some recovery time, Vojtech Polak, Tanner Eberle and Keeton Ellerby sitting out with holes being plugged by Tommaso Traversa, Alex Graham and Cole Shudra.

It was one of few recent opportunities for the Brits; Graham, has played 25 games so far for Steelers while Shudra has dressed just 10 times.

As expected goaltender Barry Brust was handed the chance to find some level of match fitness, with Rok Stojanovic on the bench.

While Steelers were not at full strength they were still keen to avoid a third straight defeat - a statistic that had cropped up in the League twice before.

Barry Brust blocks the puck  Pic by Al Goold.Barry Brust blocks the puck  Pic by Al Goold.
Barry Brust blocks the puck Pic by Al Goold.
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They kept a tight defensive check on their own end in the opening minutes and Evan Mosey, playing first line defence, and fellow blueliner Sam Jones, popped forward to test Shane Starrett in the home goal.

But Glasgow cashed in on a Graham slashing penalty to take the lead at 11;21, Guillaume Gauthier finding space at the back stick to beat Brust.

Shudra and Graham broke clear but Jones wasn't able to level when the puck fell to him.

It was a similar story at the other end when Gauthier forced a smart save from Brust, with Nolan LaPorte and Mikko Vainonen also going close in a period where the Scots outshot Steelers 19-13.

Martin Latal eyes the puck  Pic by Al Goold.Martin Latal eyes the puck  Pic by Al Goold.
Martin Latal eyes the puck Pic by Al Goold.
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After the first interval, Marco Vallerand and Justin Hodgman continued to penetrate the home defence, but to no avail.

At the halfway point Traversa and Dyson Stevenson clashed, the pair going to the penalty box for Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

The match hotted up, with both sides creating chances but Sheffield could not find the elusive equaliser when LaPorte was binned for Tripping and had to settle for a scoreless middle period.

Clan battled hard to give themselves some security with Vainonen forcing Brust into action.

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But Glasgow were again on the back foot when officials caught them with too many men on the ice.

On the power play, Sheffield were toothless - as they were when Stevenson was penalised for tripping Vallerand.

In fairness, they were up against a hot goaltender in former AHL man Starrett.

A Time Out preceded Fox's directive to pull their goalie and play the extra skater.

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It backfired, as it so often does, with Roy, the former Steeler, having the last word in front of 2,905 fans.

Now Steelers move on to their last game of the league season in Northern Ireland, where they hope to find some offensive punch.