So near yet so far...Belfast Giants win weekend bragging rights over Sheffield Steelers

Belfast Giants' Lewis Hook decked by Sheffield Steelers' Ryan Martinelli during Sunday afternoons Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.   Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Belfast Giants' Lewis Hook decked by Sheffield Steelers' Ryan Martinelli during Sunday afternoons Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Steelers are still looking for their first win of 2019 after narrowly failing, at the third attempt.

They bravely went down 4-3 at Belfast Giants on Sunday, succumbing to a hat-trick from former Carolina Hurricanes NHL veteran Patrick Dwyer.

Twenty one hours earlier, in Steelers' first trip to the SSE Arena this year almost 6,000 fans enjoyed an edge-of-the-seat finale; Sheffield were 2-0 up, but ended up 4-5 losers.

At least they return home with an overtime point from the mini-series.

Jordan Owens sat out Sunday as fellow import Matt Climie took over goaltending duties.

Steelers had to kill a ninth-minute penalty when Robert Dowd went for hooking. When Jonathan Phillips was also sent to the box, Dwyer, the previous night's match-winner, opened the scoring unassisted at 14:11.

Belfast Giants' Kyle Baun with Sheffield Steelers' Matt Climie during Sunday afternoons Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.  Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Belfast Giants' Kyle Baun with Sheffield Steelers' Matt Climie during Sunday afternoons Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Steelers had to see out another penalty kill before the first interval.

And the punishments continued to be handed out as players on either sides Jonathan Boxill, Anthony DeLuca, Stefan Della Rovere and Jim Vandermeer were binned.

Amid all the short-handed sessions, Sheffield tried their best to find a way back, with Justin Buzzeo and Robert Dowd having a crack at Tyler Beskorowany in the home goal.

But it was a barren period for both teams, despite the fact Giants outshot Sheffield 23-10.

Face off... Steelers v Giants, Jonas Westerling during the Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.    Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Face off... Steelers v Giants, Jonas Westerling during the Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

A Power Play goal at 41:14 put Steelers level, Evan McGrath one-timing his fourth goal in five matches.

Just by way of variation, Steelers took a 'Too Many Men' minor at 50:09. But 50 seconds later, John Armstrong put Steelers ahead, short handed, from Tanner Eberle.

Tom Barrasso's men could only hold on to the lead for three minutes, as the American, Dwyer, combined with Dustin Johner to make it 2-2. Dwyer was in his element and sealed his hat-trick at 54:16.

Steeler resistance crumbled and Darcy Murphy seemingly put the game to bed with a fourth at 57:30 – Giants had scored three in less than four minutes spell.

Belfast Giants' Kevin Raine with Sheffield Steelers' Jonas Westerling during the Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.  Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Belfast Giants' Kevin Raine with Sheffield Steelers' Jonas Westerling during the Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Jonas Westerling reduced their lead to 4-3 with 47 seconds remaining – but it was not enough.