Ice hockey: Sheffield Steeldogs sink Hull Pirates
Six goals in 14 minutes in Hull earned Sheffield Steeldogs two points from a weekend on the road.
They won 7-5 at Hull Pirates but slipped up 4-1 at Basingstoke Bison
Steeldogs travelled to Hull on Sunday, looking to maintain their 100% record against the new boys of the EPL and a Ben Morgan goal put them in front.
Having largely controlled the first period, they went in 2-1 down after some contentious calls from referee Staniforth gave the Pirates power play opportunities that they scored - both goals from Sheffield product Jonathan Kirk.
The middle session proved a very different affair as the Steeldogs stepped it up and their hosts collapsed.
Coach Greg Wood tied the score before a Lubomir Korhon double rocked the Pirates.
Lee Haywood swooped to make it 5-1 before a pair from Arnoldas Bosas proved he was back in the scoring groove after a weekend away representing Lithuania.
Having been on the wrong end of some one-sided sessions in recent games, it will have been a welcome change for the Dogs to wrap up a period scoring six goals and conceding none.
Pirates put Sheffield youngster Ashley Smith in goal for the third period and the Steeldogs were guilty of thinking the game was over already. Hull kept working and as the final buzzer sounded they had got the score back to more respectable 7-5.
Saturday's encounter with league leaders the Basingstoke Bison had been a very different game. A strange bounce deceived Dalibor Sedlar with Thomas Karpov credited with the first goal. The Steeldogs had their chance when Joe Greener was ejected on a high sticking major penalty but failed to score. The game remained close until goals from Thompson and Long less than 2 minutes apart put the Bison very firmly in control at 38.20.
Sheffield looked to work their way back in to the game and a Korhon goal gave them a glimmer of hope but it was to be their only marker as the Bison banked two more points in the race for the title.
Defenceman Tim Smith, who racked up three assists in the win over Hull, shared his thoughts on what the Steeldogs had done right and wrong over the weekend on the road; “Everything clicked in the second period (against Hull), it really was about time we played well in the second period, I don't think we've done very well in the middle period of games for a while.
“We needed to take the emotion out of the game - it was a little fiery, we had no control over it. We needed to get the game flowing in our style which is to play from the back, get up and down the wings. We did that in the second period then came off the page in the third. It's not acceptable really; we need to be playing for sixty minutes. It's something we've not done all season. We stopped playing in the third and Hull have scored three goals.
“In the run in to the playoffs we have to pick up playing as a team again. There are lines that are not gelling as they have and we have to get out of this little slump we have been in. We've won tonight, we have three games next weekend where we can pick up points. We need to take one game at a time, get some form going into the Playoffs and hopefully it will work going forward and hopefully we will qualify for Coventry.
“We are looking to start the weekend off with 2 points at home to Manchester on Friday night, we need to put in a good performance as well. We are battling for the same spot as them. I want to see us getting the solid performances in so we have something to take into the Playoffs.”
Steeldogs play the Manchester Phoenix on Friday (7.30) and the Swindon Wildcats on Sunday (5.30), both games at iceSheffield.