Sheffield Steelers suffered a narrow defeat to Guildford Flames on Sunday night at the Spectrum Ice Rink in Guildford.
Not wanting to upset the apple cart and with little reason to tinker with changes, head coach Aaron Fox stuck with the same line-up as the previous night.
A little over two minutes were on the clock when the game saw its first goal and it came the way of the Steelers thanks to Anthony DeLuca (02:18).
DeLuca, whos scored two the previous night continued his fine form as he connected with a nice backhand saucer pass from Michael Davies to beat Travis Fullerton.
It wasn’t long before a reply from Guildford, with Janne Kolehmainen sitting in the box, the Flames’ lethal home power-play went to work.
After almost clearing the puck out the zone, Steelers were caught down the middle of the ice and Jamie Crooks wired his shot into the top corner (04:08).
No more goals came in the opening period of the game but Guildford enjoyed the better of the play, forcing Duba into multiple saves.
Ben O’Connor was the standout performer in period one, making a number of exceptional defensive plays to keep things level on the scoresheet.
Period two would certainly be one of two halves.
The opening ten minutes were controlled by the Steelers forcing numerous saves from Fullerton before finally getting one by the goalie.
Marek Troncinsky did well to keep the puck inside the Flames zone before dangling through the legs of the Flames dman and teeing up Nikolai Lemtyugov who blasted it by Fullerton (24:31).
Tanner Eberle almost added a third instantly but his shot from in tight could only hit the post.
Less than five minutes later and Sheffield had doubled their advantage through Marco Vallerand who had the easiest of tap-ins after good offensive zone pressure.
Aaron Brocklehurst used his body smartly in the corner to shield the puck before Brendan Connolly fired on goal with the save producing a simple opportunity for Vallerand. 1-3 at 29:05.
Part two of period two belonged completely to the home side.
Three goals in three minutes turned the tie completely on its head and it began with a second power-play goal for Jamie Crooks.
He picked up on a loose puck and fired a wicked wrist-shot into the far corner of the Steelers net (32:13).
Just like that and the game was tied again another case of blink and you’ll miss it. Braylon Smyr was the next name on the scoresheet as the forward found himself with space in the face-off circle and his shot went all the way in (34:32).
At 35:18 it was 4-3 to Guildford, Kruise Reddick getting in on the act and shooting short side on Duba as the Flames skater found himself with too much time and space to be denied.
It was a tough task heading into period three, one that became even tougher with 45:12 on the clock and Jamie Crooks completing his hat-trick.
Try as they might the Steelers couldn’t work their way back in to the game until it was too late.
Ben O’Connor who was excellent throughout picked up the puck from just inside the Flames zone and his bullet of a one-timer flew into the net (55:44).
Final score | Flames 5-4 Steelers