Horror weekend for Sheffield Steelers – twice humbled by Dundee Stars

Steelers are in a tail-spin after losing their fifth consecutive match.

Their plunge down the standings to second from bottom was hastened by Sunday’s 6-1 defeat at Dundee, who started the night as one of just three teams below Sheffield.

Goaltending has suddenly become an issue, with Matt Climie being hooked in Scotland while Jackson Whistle was under scrutiny in Saturday's disastrous 3-6 home loss to the same opposition.

Sunday was bad enough. But it's worth pointing out that Saturday's relatively routine home game, drew 6,256 through the door. The huge following witnessed their team lose the personal duels, amongst other sins.

Sport is about varying opinions and it was interesting to compare those, afterwards, of coach Tom Barrasso with David Simms' thoughts.

Barrasso had been, in part, critical of his players but also spoke of some of the "lots of things to like" about his team. Asked whether he ever perceived it was all coming good on training ice, he replied: "I think that every day. I am a pretty positive person by nature. Try to be positive, try to be upbeat, try to teach and make players better."

Jackson Whistle beaten at home to Dundee Stars. Pic Dean Woolley

Jackson Whistle beaten at home to Dundee Stars. Pic Dean Woolley

Long-time Steeler Simms used his programme notes to unveil his feelings - he thinks the team is bland - a jarring contrast, perhaps.

"I think we're missing a little Steelers DNA...we have become vanilla...very nice, very polite and very vanilla" he penned. "We have become too nice in everything we do. Dear me, people are going to start to feel sorry for us next."

The "screw you" attitude he'd called for was lacking at Dundee 24 hours later. Stars served notice in the opening exchanges, smacking the puck against Climie's bar. A line-change was exploited by Omar Pacha's team at 8:19, Brian Hart firing home. Robert Dowd hit the post but Stars were more precise, Matt Bissonette making it 2-0 .

Pontus Sjögren was in commanding mood in Stars' cage and assisted on their third goal, from Matt Marquardt at 26;49. The ex Steelers' powerhouse only had to wait 21 seconds to add another.

Steelers score against Dundee Stars pic by Hayley Roberts

Steelers score against Dundee Stars pic by Hayley Roberts

Climie was then hooked in favour of Jackson Whistle, but that didn't stop Bissonette making it 5-1. The embarrassment continued, Charles Corcoran scoring on the powerplay.

To complete the misery, Stefan Della Rovere was ejected for slashing.

Robert Dowd enraged at a refereeing call against Dundee. Pic Dean Woolley

Robert Dowd enraged at a refereeing call against Dundee. Pic Dean Woolley