Sheffield Steelers v Dundee Stars: Steelers lose match on penalty shots and their goalie

Steelers surrendered their league-leading position and lost their goalie Barry Brust to injury in a night of turmoil at Sheffield Arena.
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After losing in penalty shots to eighth-placed Dundee Stars, they saw title rivals Belfast Giants climb above them in the EIHL table by a single point.

Injury-hit Sheffield had new HC Innsbruck duo Antonin Boruta and Nico Feldner in their side, both have promise but will clearly need time to adapt to the League.

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Coach Aaron Fox bemoaned the fact this team had conceded two goals in the game's first two shots and the fact the casualty toll continues to mount.

Sheffield Steelers' Barry Brust in a flap before his injurySheffield Steelers' Barry Brust in a flap before his injury
Sheffield Steelers' Barry Brust in a flap before his injury

"I feel when things go wrong well now we feel a little bit sorry for ourselves," he said.

"You started cheating the game a little bit and it cost us.

"Obviously it is a different group than the one we started the year with, we haven't been dealt a great hand with the injury bug, and we have probably got four players in the locker room who should not be playing.

"Our best player right now Robert Dowd is playing through something pretty serious and Jonno (Phillips) is out for a while as well.

Sheffield Steelers showing support for Ukraine at the Arena on Saturday nightSheffield Steelers showing support for Ukraine at the Arena on Saturday night
Sheffield Steelers showing support for Ukraine at the Arena on Saturday night

"We say winning is contagious and so is losing" he added.

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"We have got to look in the mirror and get back to playing winning hockey and stick together as a group. If things don't go the right way there is a lot of finger-pointing and we have got to get it figured out here."

Steelers initially seemed lacking in focus and were outworked in their own zone against Stars, who twinkled very brightly indeed in that first period.

In the second shift of the game, Stars' Charlie Combs shot high past Brust.

The next shot 51 seconds later from Connor Sills slipped past Brust, too.

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It was no more than the Scots had deserved, with Timi Lahtinen, Spencer Darowicz, and Carlie Combs showing dangerous form.

Sheffield got some precise puck movement going at last and halved their deficit through Matias Sointu at 5:33.

But Brust seemed to fall awkwardly and knew suddenly something was awry - he skated off straight away.

It is the kind of injury that can take weeks to recover from.

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Sheffield equalised through an Evan Mosey effort, pinged just under the bar, at 26:45 but things were still not going as planned.

Gabriel Desjardins put Dundee ahead for the second time at 28:33 and they had a fourth goal ruled out for high sticks at 35:59.

A relieved Sheffield went up a gear - or rather Dowd did; he scored twice in 17 seconds of a power play to give the home side a 4-3 advantage at the second break.

Dundee's goalie, Brython Preece, a 24-year-old Brit and normally their number two, hadn't had many big saves to make.

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After conceding the quickfire goals, he held his nerve as Steelers failed to sustain their momentum in the third period.

At the other end, Rok Stojanovic, who had taken over from Brust, was beaten for a second time as Dundee's Sills made it 4-4, at 56:52, ensuring the game went into the lottery of overtime.

Dowd almost got a hat-trick winner. However his moment was lost and the game went to penalty shots, which were decided by Sebastian Bengtsson.

Attendance: 7,329