Mind the gap: Sheffield Steelers 2-4 Nürnberg Ice Tigers (final score.)

Goal mouth action
Goal mouth action
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Sheffield Steelers were outgunned on home ice, in the third friendly of their pre-season campaign, this evening.

Rob Wilson's team finished a creditable third in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga last season, losing fewer games than the teams above them.

And for much of the first two periods they were in charge - they managed a shot on goal within nine seconds as they signalled their intent to win on English ice.

But fair play to Sheffield, they made a fight of it in the final session and were not disgraced.

Levi Nelson had two early chances to get the home side off the mark in the exhibition game after being set free by Andreas Valdix.

Tigers turned up the heat though and Ervins Mustukovs stopped a dangerous effort from Oliver Mebus.

Rob Wilson, the prodigal son returns

Rob Wilson, the prodigal son returns

When Davey Phillips took a penalty for cross-checking Petr Pohlput the DEL side ahead from the left point at 09:30.

Phillips objected as he returned to the ice - and picked up a 10 minute misconduct.

Tom Gilbert, Nurnberg's new NHL veteran, then hit the bar on the penalty kill.

Tigers skate like the wind when they have the puck, and even quicker when they want to offer options and receive it.

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson

They went two up on a turnover, Dane Fox shooting low at 17;00.

Ben O'Connor's pass was intercepted early in the second period and Mustukovs had to glove save Leonard Pfoderl.

But the netminder was beaten high to his blocker side by Phillipe Dupuis at 21;46 for 0-3.

Tigers were putting om a master-class of precision passing.

And their goalie was no slouch either, Andreas Jenike stopping a thumping Mathieu Roy drive and a tap-in from Robert Dowd.

Roy fluffed a shot on a Power Play in the 28th minute and Steelers were fortunate not to conceded on the breakaway.

A Zack Fitzgerald penalty was ruthlessly punished; it was 0-4 with Fox getting his second.

When Mark Matheson thundered the puck into the back of Roy's leg, we definitely knew this wasn't going to be their night.

But Sheffield got one back on the PP, Colton Fretter whistling one past the visiting goalie at 35;20..

And Brady Ramsay could have added a second on a 46th minute PP.

They eventually got on the scoresheet again at 48;50, a fair reward for sustained pressure, Fretter getting his second.

Steelers were more confident and created some decent chances.

But realistically they never looked like closing the gap.

Afterwards Tigers coach Wilson said he felt his team could have been "tidier" - but their concentration levels had dropped after going 4-0 up.

Sheffield coach Paul Thompson thought his side were sloppy at times but improved as the match wore on.

They took too many minor penalties too - Fitzgerald indulging in his own private war.

Thommo said he hoped for a better all-round performance against the same side on Sunday night.

"It is great to test ourselves against such a quality team he said."

But he added winger Matt Marquadt had picked up an injury.


Saturday 19th August

Cardiff Devils 5 Braehead Clan 0

Nottingham Panthers 3 Krefeld Pinguine (Germany) 2 (OT)

Sheffield Steelers 2 Nuremberg Ice Tigers (Germany) 4