The Sheffield Steelers came so close to pulling of their finest ever result against SHL side HV71
Robert Dowd’s 3rd period goal tied the game 3-3 and hopes were high of a thrilling conclusion. In the end 3 powerplay goals and a delayed penalty goal frown the Swedish giants proved too much and HV71 ran away 5-3 winners.
The Steelers started the game a little nervous with HV71 having the majority of the play – the Steelers were outshot 17-5 in the first session but the Swedes only had Mattias Tedenby’s powerplay strike to show for their early dominance.
Ervins Mustukovs showed his class time and time again making important early saves.
The Steelers came out a different team in the middle period and equalised at 23.22 when John Armstrong crashed the net and picked up the clubs first CHL goal (assisted by Roy and Sarich)
There was a momentum change and the Steelers had great passages of play, but all to no avail.
When Desbiens went to the penalty box for tripping HV71 struck again, this time Martin Tornberg the scorer.
HV71 then made it 3-1 at 34.43 on a delayed penalty with the extra attacker Christoffer Persson joining the play to score.
Many teams could have folded but the Steelers showed great character and Mike Ratchuk made it 3-2 just before the period end (38.25)
The Steelers jumped out of the gates the better side for the final period and stunned their hosts 4 minutes in when Robert Dowd equalised with Anders Franzon assisting.
The game ebbed and flowed with both teams crating. With just 9.29 remaining John Armstrong was called for slashing and the infamous HV powerplay went back to work.
It took just 17 seconds for Dylan Reese to find the back of the net for the eventual game winner.
The Steelers pressed looking for an equaliser but on the break HV71 added a security 5th goal when Par Arlbradt converted on a two on one breakaway.
Paul Thompson called a time out, Mustukovs was pulled for the extra attacker for the final minute. Try as they did the Steelers couldn’t find a way to narrow the deficit.
Final score – HV71 5-3 Steelers