Sheffield Steelers had Mark Thomas stripped from the roster for tonight’s match against Fife at iceSheffield - but in fairness this was a night when they did not need his services.
It was an uttler landslide victory for the Yorkshire side, an augurs well for the future.
Thomas had been given a match ban for a hit on the boards, the previous evening in Kirkcaldy.
(see the hit: http://youtu.be/9Z5klInMjf4)
The Department of Player Safety ruled the check on Danny Stewart was: “dangerous and reckless.”
Stewart was hurled “violently into the boards where he is unaware of the impending hit and unable to protect himself.”
Thomas felt it was a clean hit, but he had to settle for a seat in the media gantry at the rink this evening.
Steelers were three men short as Tyler Mosienko is also suspended and Pascal Morency has concussion.
A well-crafted passing movement provided the opening Sheffield goal from Colton Fretter, at 2;37.
That was followed by a second from Mike Forney after a slick offensive counter attack.
But a minute later Bobby Chaumont got one back for the Scots on the PP.
Sheffield were looking assured though and deserved a third from Fretter - it could have been more before the first interval.
Forney tapped in his second of the night at 31;07, and Phil Hill’s tip in makde it five, threatening a landslide.
Devin Didiomete joined the fun with his first for the club on 43;05.
A Power Play goal from Jay Latulippe made it 7- before Gord Baldwin poached another.
The South Yorkshire side went behind on seven minutes in their first Elite League game of the new season.
And it was a home grown Scot who gave them the trouble.
Josh Scoon, a 22-year-old local lad, scored unassisted near-post, in a game delayed after technical hitches with the lighting.
But Steelers’ first league goal of the season levelled matters.
And it came from a defenceman, Darrell Hay roaming forward to score from Mathieu Roy and Gord Baldwin.
Michael Forney put Sheffield ahead in the second period on a short-handed play.
And a minute later Rob Dowd popped in a third, aided by returning-from-injury Jonathan Phillips.
But the two goal advantage was halved almost as soon as the third session began, Chirs Auger scoring for the Scots.
And on 45 minutes the Kirkcaldy rink was on fire, with Ned Lukacevic equalising at 3-3.
With three minutes on the clock, Forney snatched his second of the evening for Steelers.
You’d have put your house on Steelers closing the game - but they didn’t.
With nine seconds left Jordan Fulton made it 4-4.
The game couldn’t be decided in overtime, but Steelers took the extra point in penalty shots, Roy and Hay netting the crucial markers.
Saturday 13th September
Coventry Blaze 4 Dundee Stars 0
Fife Flyers 4 Sheffield Steelers 5 (After Penalty Shootout)
Hull Stingrays 2 Edinburgh Capitals 5
Elite League/Challenge Cup Group B
Nottingham Panthers 3 Cardiff Devils 1
Challenge Cup Group A
Belfast Giants 3 Braehead Clan 4 (After Overtime)