Sheffield Steelers 3-4 Nottingham Panthers (penalty shot; final)

Zack dispensing justice, Steeler style
Zack dispensing justice, Steeler style

Sheffield Steelers lose out in a highly entertaining "run and gun" game of hockey against Nottingham tonight.

The teams shared six goals in a pulsating three periods, before heading into overtime.

Sheffield have FIVE clear chances to kill the game off in the extra period.

But they couldn't bury any of three penalty shots and lost to strikes from Mark Derlago and Josh Shalla.

And afterwards coach Paul Thompson admitted the visiting goaltender outperformed his own.

Generally, though, he wasn't unhappy with his side's play.

Mathieu Roy had returned for Steelers and assisted on a first period goal against Panthers.

He was part of the move that saw Tim Wallace scored on the left flank, just under the crossbar, from Ben O'Connor to put Sheffield ahead on the Power Play at 4:26.

It was Wallace's second goal in 13 games - and rich reward for an excellent display.

Steelers, without injured Davey Phillips and rested import Brady Ramsay, were highly impressive early on.

There was a lot of activity around Panthers crease and there was particular applause from Panthers' fans for their goaltender Mike Garnett's save from Wallace at 9;13.

Ervins Mustukovs, at the opposite end, made smart blocks from David Clarke and Yan Sauve.

But he was beaten by a cheeky goal at 16;29, when Robert Farmer with his back to goal, squeezed the puck through his own legs and over the line.

Panthers hadn't really deserved an equaliser, but you couldn't deny the craftsmanship of the leveller.

Notts did, however, control much of the second session.

A Joonas Ronnberg error let in Suave for a go-ahead goal at 20;47 and four minutes later a clean shot from Tim Billingsley gave an unexpected 3-1 lead to Sheffield.

Paul Thompson's men looked a little ragged.

Zack Fitzgerald tried to enforce his kind of justice and law with a scrap with Mathieu Gagnon, who suffered a facial cut.

And another Steelers' heavyweight made an even more important contribution, Matt Marquardt reducing the arrears to 2-3 at 37;34.

The last session saw a series of missed opportunities for Steelers.

Nottingham's Mathieu Brisebois, Rapheal Bussieres and Billingsley all coughed up possession but Steelers could not punish their mistakes.

Ben O'Connor had one fine effort loop off the goalie on to the top of the bar, but Roy, Marquardt and Andreas Valdix all scorned opportunities.

But Roy found the net at last at 58:16 for 3-3.

That was the end of the scoring until the Panthers won the Penalty Shot lottery.