A tough night for the Sheffield Steelers in their first game of the 2018 Continental Cup Final in Minsk.
Steelers went down 5-1 to Nomad Astana in a frustrating night that saw them more than compete for the first 40 minutes but then go down in a 3-1 final period.
Sheffield created clear cut chances 5 on 5 and on various power-plays but just couldn’t finish and score on Nomad goalie Vladimir Kramar.
The Kazakhstan champions showed their class in converting their opportunities – the first of which came after just 1.51 of the opening period when Yakovlev beat Ervins Mustukov high over his shoulder for the only goal of the first period.
Steelers had power-play chances when Kovzalov was awarded a 5 minute penalty and game misconduct for a kneeing clash with Robert Dowd.
Dowdy was assisted off the ice and took no further part in the game – he is likely to be side lined for at least a couple of months with ligament damage.
Steelers dominated much of the second period with Jamtin, Marquardt and Neiley having excellent chances to put the Steelers on the scoreboard.
It was however another strike from Nomad that doubled their advantage when Gurin found the back of the net from close range (2-0)
When called upon Ervins Mustukovs was in fine form denying the sharp shooters from Nomad.
It was still all to play for at the start of the final period however the Steelers were soon on the back foot after Andreas Jamtin (Interference at 40.32) and Davey Phillips (High Sticks at 40.52) put Nomad on a 5/3 power-play.
They converted on both the 5/3 at 41.58 through Mikhailis and then on the 5/4 at 42.48 through Asetov for a 4-0 score line.
With Jonathan Phillips sitting out a tripping minor at 47.26 Nomad went on to score a 5th when Mikhailis scored his 2nd of the night.
Steelers did get on the scoreboard when Eric Neiley converted his first goal for the club at 54.54 (assisted Andreas Valdix)
Injury Update: Robert Dowd left the arena on crutches and will undergo a scan upon his return to Sheffield. He is understood to have knee ligament damage and be out of action for the near future.