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Steelers go down 5-4 in overtime to the Panthers

Steelers go down 5-4 in overtime to the Panthers

Saturday night hockey at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham with the Steelers taking on the Panthers in a ‘home’ fixture tonight.

Earlier on in the day, the Steelers secured top seed in the #2021EliteSeries when the Manchester Storm went down to the Coventry Blaze meaning no team can now catch the men in orange.

The remaining games will now focus on who the Steelers take on in the Semi-finals and keeping the boys in form for the play offs.

Teams news coming out of the Steelers dressing room was that Dowd and Schulze would not be skating tonight with Musil and Adam Jones coming back into the line-up.

At the back, Ben Churchfield takes his place back between the pipes with Warburton serving as his backup tonight. A close contest between those two for who gets the start in the play offs if Muse is still recovering from injury.

The starting six announced as:

B Churchfield

 

S Jones

D Phillips

 

T Eberle

J Mikyska

L Kirk

Before play, the Steelers and the Elite League recognised the immense achievement of Jonathan Phillips in reaching 900 games played for the Sheffield Steelers. Thank you Captain Jono! Here’s to many more!

Puckdrop at 7pm and the Steelers took no time at all to get going when Eberle found himself in on Bowns at only 12 seconds and slotted the puck home with ease. What a start for the men in orange, assisted by Kirk and Mikyska.

It was to be the KME line to do all the damage in the first period and the line took advantage again in the 7th minute when Eberle wrapped around the net and posted the puck past Bowns’ outstretched left pad. Goal timed at 7.11, assisted by Kirk and Mikyska (again!).

The men in orange wouldn’t let up and the KME line were back out in the 11th minute. A 3rd goal came courtesy of a loose puck in the Steelers zone which Eberle pounced on before sending Liam Kirk flying down the ice. What a solo effort by the Maltby lad who took the puck nearly the entire length of the ice and slipped the puck 5-hole on Bowns to make it 3-0. Goal timed at 10.39, assisted by Eberle and Mikyska.

What seemed like a dubious hooking call on Kirk came a few minutes later and whilst Kirk was taking a breather in the penalty box, the puck fell fortuitously for the men in white and gold and was jumped on by Brett Perlini who finished well above Churchfield’s shoulder. Goal timed at 14.51, assisted by Boivin and Domingue.

The Steelers had the better of the final 5 minutes but it remained goalless and the Steelers took a 3-1 lead into the 2nd period.

What seemed like it would be a routine night for the Steelers turned into nothing of the sort and the Panthers came out fighting.

The Steelers created some good pressure, but when called upon Bowns came up big in the 2nd. The Steelers with an early powerplay but nothing to write home about.

We thought the 3 goal lead was going to be reinstated in 27th minute when Kirk went on a breakaway. Forehand, backhand, forehand which had Bowns beat, but the puck just slid the wrong side of the post.

The Panthers then made the men in orange pay at 29.22 when Cangelosi went down the right and fired high above Churchfield to bring the score within 1. Goal assisted by Talbot-Tassi.

The game ebbed and flowed for the next 10 minutes when neither team found too many chances and netminders doing their job when called upon.

That was until 39.04 when the puck was found by Betteridge who fired past Bowns the draw the game up at 3-3.

Good work from Connolly and Olden brought a chance in the dieing seconds of the 2nd period which drew a slashing penalty and left the Steelers with a maximum of 1.57 in the 3rd period 5 on 4.

3-3 going into the 3rd – big period coming up!

The steelers started the 3rd period 5 on 4 but weren’t able to sustain any pressure on the Nottingham goal.

The Panthers did pick another penalty with 8 seconds left to give the Steelers a much shortened 5 on 3, but the Panthers made it back to full strength unarmed.

The KME line wasn’t done for the night though and Eberle picked up his hattrick goal at 43.54, assisted by his deadly duo, Kirk and Mikyska.

The officials had their say in the game at 48.05 when what seemed like a routine check and battle down the board was called on Graham as interference.

The Panthers made the Steelers pay on the penalty after 14 seconds at 48.19 when Talbot-Tassi was assisted by Matheson and Cangelosi.

Nothing came for either side although the Steelers put on some sustained pressure in the last 60 seconds but couldn’t find the shot to beat Bowns.

The Steelers went into their first 3 on 3 overtime of the #2021EltiteSeries but this only lasted 17 seconds as Cangelosi burst down the right wing to fire the puck across the crease which was shovelled in by Boivin at the back post.

The Steelers take their first overtime loss of the series but stand clear at the top of the table on 15 points with the Panthers still lingering at the bottom on 11 points, tied with a worse goal difference than the Storm.

Our final game of the regulation #2021EliteSeries league comes against Manchester Storom tomorrow night (Sunday 25th April) in our final ‘away’ fixture before the play offs.

See you there!

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