Sheffield Steeldogs were unable to capture the War of the Roses Bowl for the third successive year as they went down to Manchester Phoenix.
Dogs had drawn Saturday’s first leg, 4-4, but went down 4-1 away. Janis Ozolins, the Latvian centre who Steelers have their eye on, got the series off with a bang with score short-handed at iceSheffield.
Steeldogs built a 3-0 lead after Andre Payette and Edgars Bebris banged the puck home but Tony Hand rallied his troops.
Pavel Gomeniuk was ejected on a match penalty for an unintentional kneeing on Ciaran Long and the visitors cashed in. While Payette scored a second, the game finished in a tie.
In the second leg, Phoenix rattled in three goals before Chris Sykes shot home, but the game finished 4-1 to the north west side. A Dogs spokesman said: “We had a great first period in Manchester, but lost our way. We missed Gomeniuk and Stuart Brittle (injured) hugely.”