Steelers title hopes dented: Braehead Clan 2 Sheffield Steelers 1

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IT was always going to be difficult for Steelers in their first of three games in three nights in Braehead and so it proved as Clan won to seriously damage their league hopes.

Clan were given an early power play opportunity when Finnerty went for charging and a deflected Jorgensen shot came back off the Steelers crossbar. Steelers then had an opportunity of their own with the man advantage and Fulghum went close and in the 12th minute Ramsay could not take advantage of a Clan giveaway.

Fulghum showed some great moves before sliding the puck wide while Krestanovich failed to test DeCaro after a Steelers defensive lapse but when Sheffield were given a second power play chance late on they took it. McPherson was binned for delaying the game and Colt King tipped in a blue line shot from Stephenson with 10 seconds left in the period to edge Steelers ahead.

The second period was very much dominated by Clan as they outshot Steelers by 13 to 5. Early home pressure was rewarded at 22.56 when after good cycling the puck was eventually scrambled in by Adam Walker.

King was next off for cross checking but again some resolute defence by the visitors paid off. Phillips shot wide late on for Steelers in a rare attack but it remained anyone’s game for forty minutes of hockey.

The third period was one of frustration for Steelers as Clan effectively shut down the visitors offence while scoring what turned out to be the game winner inside the opening minute when a shot by Clan player coach Drew Bannister was deflected into his own net by a Steelers defenceman after 21 seconds to dent Sheffield’s title hopes.