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Manchester Storm 3 Sheffield Steelers 5 – We’ll meet again as the Steelers finish seed UK News

John Muse’s injury put intense pressure on young nationally Ben Churchfield and Curtis Warburton, but the duo and the skaters ahead of them did enough to ensure the Steelers finished ahead of the pack.

Now the team have to repeat that feat and maybe even improve their game if they are to be the play-off champion.

They face Manchester again on Tuesday night in the first leg of the knockout semi-final.

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Joy for the Steelers after scoring against Manchester.  Photo by Mark Ferriss.
Joy for the Steelers after scoring against Manchester. Photo by Mark Ferriss.

It has certainly not been easy to get to this point.

Ahead of Sunday’s dead rubber game with Storm, which Sheffield won 5-3, the Steelers had lost three of their previous five games, the last coming in a 5-4 loss to the Nottingham Panthers on Saturday night.

But you can’t ignore the positive and sometimes conflicting factors at work behind their ranking in the league: campaigning with inexperienced but improving goaltenders on one end while exploding with offensive firepower on the other.

On Sunday in Nottingham, the Steelers scored with the first shot, Kevin Schulze catching Sean Bonar cold.

Jonathan Phillips of the Sheffield Steelers gets ready. Photo by Mark Ferriss.

Manchester finally found their own lineup, with Craig Peacock picking Tyson Fawcett for 1-1.

Liam Kirk pushed Sheffield forward with a tournament goal contender. Reveling in the extra space on a 4v4 game, he skated at high speed to the paint, before tucking the puck under Bonar.

Frustratingly, routine contact with the arm and the player led to a severe penalty from Jonathan Phillips for the elbows.

Churchfield saved Fawcett from the penalty spot but at 12:46 Ciaran Long beat him, 2-2.

Matt Myers participates in a face-to-face meeting. Photo by Mark Ferriss

The game belonged to anyone; Davey Phillips hammered the puck against Bonar’s crossbar before a mistake by Bálint Pákozdi on the other end almost gave Manchester the advantage.

Sheffield, who had rested Jeremy Beaudry and Brendan Connolly, couldn’t find a consistent pace in which they could fly their speed merchants.

Eventually Robert Dowd’s vessel exposed the Storm defense, it passed to Solder Olden who changed the puck for skipper Phillips and he shot a perfect 3-2 at 26:37.

The momentum seemed to be with the white South Yorkshire shirts, but Ryan Finnerty’s men in black found a second wind.

Ben Lake failed to hit the puck a few inches, and then Churchfield saved the Sheffield bacon. Adrian Saxrud-Danielsen lost the puck, but Cameron Critchlow couldn’t beat the Sheffield goalkeeper on a clean breakaway.

This fear propelled Sheffield forward. Eberle hit the post before Josef Mikyska caught up to Sam Jones for 4-2.

Churchfield’s tackle was not enough to stop Dallas Ehrhardt from cutting the deficit in half, however.

Was this the second game of the weekend where a decent lead had been reduced?

Jonathan Phillips decided not to do it. The 901-game Steeler scored an empty net at 57; 35 to put the question out of doubt.

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This notice was published: 2021-04-25 20:24:14