Sheffield Steelers conceded five Power Play goals to HV71 of Sweden to lose their third Champions Hockey League fixture tonight.
Five on five, they were holding their own.
But conceding penalties is a familiar theme when playing crack European competition and they did it again tonight in a 1-2, 0-0, 1-3 game.
Coach Paul Thompson now looks like facing a mission impossible.
He was beyond frustrated at the final hooter, saying that his side had conceded unnecessary penalties again and paid a price the management team had warned them was coming their way if they lost personal control.
Thompson said there were plus points from the even-handed plays, but they counted for little after a 2-5 loss.
A win over HV71 had been deemed essential if the club had any realistic chance of progressing in the tournament.
They had lost 5-3 to HV and 8-1 to Red Bull Salzburg in the earlier three-team group meetings.
But tonight after killing two Steeler penalties, HV's Chris Abbott scored on the visitors' first power play.
Three seconds into a second PP, they added another through Martin Tornberg.
Sheffield roared back defiantly, winning a face off and then feeding Rob Dowd for a one-timer to make it 1-2 at 14;55.
Steelers, without injured talisman Mathieu Roy, had no luck in front of goal at the start of the second period/
Jonathan Phillips slipped the puck wide of goal from the edge of the crease and chances came and went for John Armstrong and Dowd.
The pesky Mattias Tedenby was upended on a skate through the Steelers middle, but Ervins Mutukovs stopped the resulting penalty shot.
The fans hoped that moment would be a turning point, but the session was goalless.
Ben O'Connor misdirected the puck out of the rink and received a delay of game penalty from which Temmu Laine scored for 1-3.
Davey Phillips crosscheck signaled a PP goal by Abbot, his second of the night.
A rush of blood saw Levin Nelson sin-binned for reacting to a hit on the boards and Tedenby rung up the fifth.
Dowd scored a consolation with five minutes remaining, to round off, at least, a memorable night for him.
HV71 head coach Johan Lindbom said: "It was a tough game with a lot of penalties, playing 5-on-5 I thought the Steelers defended very well and they made it tough for us to get pucks on the net," commented . "I think they're a good team with a big heart, they work hard every shift and I think they'll have a good season."
*Steelers play Manchester Storm next, at Sheffield Arena in the Challenge Cup on Sunday, September 4.
It is the opening of their domestic campaign.
The last CHL group game is on Sunday September 11 against Salzburg.