Sheffield Steelers: A win, a defeat and a new player on the way

Jace Coyle - Sheffield Steelers v Manchester Storm 02/01/16
Jace Coyle - Sheffield Steelers v Manchester Storm 02/01/16
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Steelers - who secured five points from six over three weekend matches - are set to sign another import on Tuesday as they seek to put further momentum behind their title chase.

Injured Colton Fretter is up to six weeks away from return so coach Paul Thompson plans to bring in another experienced veteran to bolster the side.

It will be the fourth addition to his squad since the start of the season - with as many going out in the opposite direction.

Third-place Steelers plan to bring in the player on a short-term deal, and then assess whether he is a good enough fit to stay for the rest of the term - in short, the same test Chris Lawrence failed.

With Dave Simms recently saying he expected more future imports to come from Scandinavia, it will be interesting to see who the new face is.

On Sunday night, Steelers were pipped in a penalty shoot-out at Edinburgh.

Rod Sarich - Sheffield Steelers v Manchester Storm 02/01/16

Rod Sarich - Sheffield Steelers v Manchester Storm 02/01/16

For the third time in succession they had come from behind to take the lead, but failed to net any of their four penalty shots against a side who the previous night had conceded eight at Nottingham Panthers.

The Scots ripped Steelers apart with two power play goals inside 17 minutes: Rod Sarich and Russ Moyer were in the bin as Canadians David Rutherford and Ned Lukacevic shot home.

Just before the first interlude, Jace Coyle banged in his third goal of the weekend to make it 1-2. Guillaume Desbiens scored his first goal in seven games to level at 26;37 though.

And Steelers took the lead with 12 minutes remaining, Ben O’Connor chalking up his sixth point in three games.

Robert Dowd - Sheffield Steelers v Manchester Storm 02/01/16

Robert Dowd - Sheffield Steelers v Manchester Storm 02/01/16

But it was dead-lock again, at 55;39, when Rutherford grabbed his second PP strike of the night.

Lukacevic scored the winning penalty shot after Fredrick Vestberg, Jeff Legue, Tyler Mosienko and O’Connor all failed.

Saturday presented a Steelers v Storm match that was pure tenacity v speed.

Storm’s speed-skaters took the early initiative when Matthew Paton caught Marek Pink out on his near post.

But O’Connor seized the puck on a one-on-one contest, then fired in a shot which was tipped in by Levi Nelson five minutes later.

Storm could have added a second with Ricards Birzinsh fired over and then Paul Phillips skated straight through the Sheffield defence.

Zane Kalemba had a middle period to remember, he saved sensationally from Rob Dowd but was on his back when Russ Moyer made it 2-1 at 38;37.

Under-strength Storm were always going to run out of steam.

D-man Coyle scored his first brace for the club - he even went looking for a hat-trick - and although Grant Toulmin got one back on a 6v4 Power Play, Mosienko scored a fine individual short-handed goal. He won a defensive zone face off, raced the length of the ice and notched number five.

RESULTS

Sunday 3rd January

Elite League

Braehead Clan 3 Cardiff Devils 1

Coventry Blaze 2 Belfast Giants 5

Dundee Stars 3 Fife Flyers 4 (PS)

Edinburgh Capitals 4 Sheffield Steelers 3 (PS)

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