November 21, 2011

Derby Day Thriller in Sheffield - Steelers Win over Panthers

UK Round Up Sunday 20th November

Elite League
Nottingham Panthers 2 Sheffield Steelers 3 (AOT)
There was no doubt what the most anticipated game in the UK was this weekend. Nottingham headed up the M1 motorway to face Sheffield in front of over 6,000 fans at the Motorpoint Arena and they were not disappointed by the game.

The Steelers got off to a perfect start as Ashley Tait hit home the Steelers 1,000th Elite League goal. It was Tait again who doubled the advantage in the tenth minute. That was the way it stayed until the second period. It was Lee and Stephenson who kicked off the second period with a fight and as they were cooling off the Panthers got back in the game. First of all through Fox then Danny Meyers levelled the scores just over a minute later. There was just time for another fight, this time Francis and Hewitt, before the mid way point of the second.

The third ended in stalemate and the sides headed to overtime. It was a ripper from Great Britain defenseman Mark Thomas that lit the light for the home team. However the overtime point for the Panthers means that they stay above the Steelers in the standings.

There was bad news however for the Steelers who will be without Rod Sarich for the trip to Herning, Denmark for the Continental Cup. Sarich left the ice immediately following the game and was taken to hospital for test where he remained over night. The Steelers did not comment on the type of injury but did say that it was picked up in Saturday’s win of Braehead.

Fife Flyers 2 Hull Stingrays 3
Across Yorkshire in Hull the Stingrays were out for revenge as they faced the Flyers at the Hull Arena. Hull went about it the right way dominating the game for large periods but found themselves tied at one with 10 minutes to go.

Silverthorn finally got the go head goal followed by a third from Tendler just over a minute later. Danny Stewart’s goal with 2 minutes to goal brought the Flyers back to within 1 but Hull hung on for the victory despite having 57 shots on target.

Braehead Clan 2 Edinburgh Capitals 4
Many had questioned the Capitals signing of Nathan Craze preseason but Edinburgh had him to thank for delivering them a 4 point weekend.

Craze stopped 41 shots as Edinburgh took advantage of another slow start by the Clan; Jarolin with the opener in the fourth minute. The second period saw the Clan mount a challenge only to be matched by Craze and beaten by Jarolin and Valecko.

The third period saw the Clan’s efforts finally rewarded as Galbraith and Haywood brought the visitors back into the game but Jarolin completed his hat trick with an empty netter and the win went to the Caps.

Belfast Giants 4 Dundee Stars 3 (APS)
Belfast completed their weekend road trip against a Dundee side that is getting an unwanted reputation for being the nearly club against those at the top.

Fans knew they were in for treat when Dan Ceman and Daryl Lloyd exchanged goals inside the first two minutes but it was Belfast who then took control scoring through Crane and Rebek. The stars would only go in down by one as AJ Maclean got the home side’s second.

Things tightened up in the second as Ross McIntosh got the only goal of the period to tie things up. That goal turned out to be key as the game to overtime and penalties where Craig Peacock broke the home town fans hearts by netting the winning penalty.

Cardiff Devils 5 Coventry Blaze 4
Cardiff and Coventry completed their home and home series in dramatic fashion. The Devils started how they did night before and raced into a 4 goal lead by the 30 minute marker. However two goals just eight seconds apart from Fussey and Wood sparked a comeback. The Blaze would only go in at the second break down by one goal as Guthrie netted.

The break seemed to suit Cardiff the better though and Brad Voth’s goal made it two goal lead that would prove to be the difference despite Greg Owen’s last minute goal for the Blaze.

The Blaze will go back to the drawing board after a pointless weekend that saw their powerplay 0 for 10 whilst Cardiff headed back to south Wales looking to keep in touch with leaders.

English Premier League
The big game of the night was the top of the table clash between the Slough Jets and the Guildford Flames. It was the Flames who came out on top to the delight of the home fans in the Spectrum as they leapfrogged the Jets to top spot.

Manchester completed their home and home series against Peterborough with a much improved performance. The Phoenix had hoped to have Tony Hand and Jarek Spelda back but both failed a fitness test. Nonetheless the Phoenix pulled through with standout performances from walking wounded Martin Cingel and Ladislav 
Harabin as well as key stops from Stephen Fone.

Elsewhere Basingstoke hit another seven this time Swindon whilst Bracknell completed a four point weekend by beating high flying Sheffield to keep themselves in touch with bunch.  With only 8 points separating the top 8 and ninth placed Peterborough still having 2 games in hand 10 points could separate nine out of the ten clubs in the EPL a third of the way through the season.

EPL Results
Peterborough Phantoms 1 Manchester Phoenix 4
Sheffield Steeldogs 1 Bracknell Bees 2
Telford Tigers 1 Milton Keynes Lightning 6
Slough Jets 1 Guildford Flames 4
Swindon Wildcats 2 Basingstoke Bison 7

Neil Tucker

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