Dundee Stars v Sheffield Steelers: Rare defeat for Steelers in Scotland

Sheffield were beaten by a Scottish club for the first time this season - and lost the chance to go two points clear over Cardiff Devils with four games in hand.

Monday, 24th January 2022, 8:03 am

Steelers dipped 3-2 at Dundee Stars, the result putting a dint in their recent form.

A win on Sunday would have been their 10th on the trot. But their trademark final period flourish did not materialise.

Steelers had started as brightly as you'd expect from a team that few EIHL rivals find a way to beat.

Their defensive skaters were prominent, Sam Jones delivered a hefty check on Charlie Combs, Keaton Ellerby featured in a promising attack and Rok Stojanovic, chosen in goal for the third match running, mopped up a chance for Stars after Kevin Schulze turned the puck over.

But there was not much sign of any Sheffield D-men when Stars took the lead at 10:55, Swedish dynamo Sebastian Bengtsson punishing a breakdown at the back.

Dundee had less than three minutes to savour the lead, Daine Todd skating rink-length to feed Robert Dowd, who put Steelers on level terms.

At 19:22, conflict around the Stars' net saw Tanner Eberle penalised for goaltender interference, but Kyle Haas was treated more harshly. He received a 2+2 for roughing, so Steelers again had a man advantage, straddling the interval.

Sheffield Steelers' Robert Dowd on target at Dundee. Picture: Derek Black

There had been a malevolent undercurrent with Evan Mosey and Kankaanpera in a heated exchange.

Dundee, who had shut out Coventry Blaze 3-0 the night before, conceded a second 52 seconds into the middle frame, Marco Vallerand shooting high into the net.

But the teams were back on equal terms at 25:18, Craig Garrigan outsmarting Stojanovic from out front after Jones had failed to clear the danger behind the net.

Combs went to the box at 34:49 for the second roughing call of the night but Adam Morrison was in impressive form in the home goal, stopping efforts from Todd and Justin Hodgman.

Sheffield Steelers' Robert Dowd earns the plaudits at Dundee. Picture: Derek Black

Combs then left the sin bin to fire over the bar on a breakaway. Steelers were finding him hard to contain.

Would Sheffield be able to wear down Stars' four D-men in the final phase?

First they had to kill off Tommaso Traversa and Vallerand penalties; then Steelers' fans had their fingers crossed for what their team normally does best: win third periods.

Stars had other ideas and took the lead through Combs at 51:43, the pesky American inches away from scoring again shortly afterward.

Sheffield Steelers' Vojtech Polak and Marco Vallerand working together. Picture: Derek Black

The points stayed in Scotland.

*On Saturday, Sheffield were outshot 32-34 by Nottingham Panthers, yet still ran out 4-2 winners.

It was the 100th time they'd pipped them in the Elite League era (steelersstats.)

Matias Sointu, Evan Mosey, Marco Vallerand and Robert Dowd did the damage.

*Steelers are next out on the Arena ice on Wednesday, when they take on Glasgow (7.30pm.) Their last confrontation was a wafer thin overtime win for Sheffield, last month.