Steelers falter in Fife yet claim unlikely win

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Fife Flyers 5 Sheffield Steelers 6 (Overtime; Sunday)

Sheffield Steelers 5 Fife Flyers 3 (Saturday)

Sheffield pulled off an astonishing win last night, just as their title push looked to have stalled.

Bottom club Fife had put five past them - and import goalie John DeCaro had been banished to the bench by his coach.

But in a sensational turn-around they levelled at the death before winning in overtime.

It was all fantastic drama - but not one Sheffield, who have five games in hand on leaders Belfast Giants, would want to repeat again, against a team welded to the bottom of the league. Yesterday’s first period in Fife’s 73-year-old rink mirrored the previous night’s at the more modern setting of Sheffield Arena: goalless. The difference was that the bad boys from British Colombia, Neil Clark and Matt Siddall, weren’t bashing the living daylights out of each other after 14 seconds, as they’d done on Saturday.

Actually, Siddall struck more meaningfully; putting Fife ahead on the power play on 22 minutes.

And the Scots grabbed a second from 38-year-old player coach Todd Dutiaume. Latvian Toms Hartmanis, made it 3-0 forcing coach Ryan Finnerty to call a time out to re-group.

At 36.11 Finnerty scored from Ashley Tait and Luke Fulghum - was sense returning to the sport?

No replied Siddall, as he rattled home Fife’s fourth. And when Hartmanis netted his second, DeCaro was ordered off the ice.

The shock tactic worked, with Fulghum (two) and Steve Birnstill quickly bringing the score to 5-4.

And with three minutes left the ever-dependable Jeff Legue levelled.

Off into overtime - with Mark Thomas scoring a hard-to-believe winner.

Saturday night was a lesson for some Steelers – don’t get complacent when your team seems well in charge.

At 4-0 up with eight minutes left, what could go wrong? Well nearly everything, as the spirited Scots banged in three goals in four minutes.

Forwards Mike Ramsay, two, and Fulghum had got Steelers goals, d-man Francis Trudel adding another and it looked game over until Flyers came roaring back as first Chris Wands at 51.40, Hartmanis 53.58 and then Mike Hamilton at 55.48 made it a one goal game.

Colt King settled the nerves with a final goal.