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Belfast Giants v Sheffield Steelers: Another loss sees Steelers need boost ahead of Play Off campaign UK News

On Friday, they lost their fourth straight game, five losses in six games.

This mirrors the exact same streak early last month.

The statistics are painful for the Orange Army; their team has lost its last two at home, its last three away.

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But there were crumbs of comfort, at least, when they fell 5-4 to the Belfast Giants on Friday.

Two goals and a late rally to come back from 4-2 up at the SSE Arena showed resilience and spirit.

They pushed the game into overtime, but a flawless pass and clinical finish from Jordan Boucher stopped any hint of a two-point morale in the Steelers’ final game of the League campaign.

That goal spelled an agonizing end for the Steelers – a similar feeling they had to endure before the game when Belfast unfurled the Championship banner at one end of the rink.

Sheffield Steelers’ Antonin Boruta closes in on Belfast Giants opponent

Coach Aaron Fox now has the task of rebuilding the squad ahead of the Playoff quarter-finals next weekend.

Sheffield, who were shut out 2-0 in a midweek game at Glasgow Clan, were without Barry Brust, Keeton Ellerby and Vojtech Polak.

Brandon Whistle was the frontline center and faced his brother Jackson in the home goal.

Tanner Eberle was still clearing his head after a heavy crash into the boards when Belfast nearly took the lead, JJ Piccinich hitting the Steelers post.

Sheffield Steelers’ Justin Hodgman challenges the puck

Eberle was soon back in action and nearly opened the scoring, as did Justin Hodgman.

Belfast, with such a feel-good factor among its fans in the crowd of 6,125, took the lead at 18:31, center Slater Doggett scoring past a blind Stojanovic.

The teams traded two goals in a turbulent second period.

Sheffield defended a triggering penalty from Tommaso Traversa, then equalized through Marco Vallerand, unassisted, at 28:34.

Sheffield Steelers goalkeeper Rok Stojanovic under the cosh in Belfast

The parity lasted only seven minutes and Boucher put the home fans on their feet.

But Robert Dowd backhanded home after good work from Martin Látal behind the net, to ensure there was nothing between the rivals ahead of the third session.

The Steelers couldn’t score on a 40th-minute power play, but the Giants suffered no such inability when it was their turn.

With Dowd forgetting a very sticky call, Lewis Hook finished clean at 47:42.

Two minutes later, 17-year-old Mack Stewart had a moment to savor when he scored his first professional goal on a tip.

Sheffield pulled one back on Kevin Schulze’s power play.

Belfast Giants parade the EIHL Trophy

Antonin Boruta hit Whistle’s piping in what looked to be the best chance to equalize in regulation time, but Eberle then scored to level it 4-4 with 63 seconds left.

There was to be no upheaval from the form book, however, and Belfast won the game after two minutes of extra time, Boucher completing a pass separating the defence.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-16 08:55:34

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