January 8, 2012

SteelDogs Come Out on Top Versus the Slough Jets

The SteelDogs faced the Slough Jets in the 2nd of their home games this weekend and what a cracking game it was. The entertainment started in the warm up as SteelDogs player coach jokingly went to punch the mascot as he entered the ice in the introduction which saw the mascot put on the ice as he fell over backwards.

Once the game was started it didn’t take long for the entertainment to continue as Andrew Hirst put the SteelDogs into an early lead at 2.46 as he picked up a loose puck infront of the net and backhanded it into the net. Assist coming from Chris Sykes and Steve Duncombe.

Payette then had a good shot from the top of the crease around the 3 minute mark but the puck went straight into Rockman’s pads.

In what was a fast paced game both teams were creating chances but it was Slough who struck next as Kieras bulleted a shot over Bowns glove and it crashed in off the iron. Ex Elite league players Adam Calder and Doug Shepherd picked up the assists as both players looked dangerous all night.

Another good chance went begging for Slough with just under 5 minutes left as Morgan and Hirst ran into each other to cough up the puck to Mark Galazzi but he fired the puck wide.

In the last 3 minutes Payette fired a backhander wide and then a couple of SteelDogs players had chances as the puck bobbled around in the crease.  Hirst picked it up from the side of the net but he just couldn’t get enough of his stick on it to send it in and it went right across the goal line and wide.

The 2nd period started with a huge hit by Sykes on Zach Sullivan which saw the Jets player down on the ice and dazed. Play was stopped but he managed to make his own way back to the bench but was clearly shook up.

Janis Ozolins gave the SteelDogs their 2nd lead of the night at 7.26 as he picked up the puck from the feet of the Jets defence and fired high above the glove of Rockman with Hirst and Elliott picking up the assists.
Hirst then led out a 3 on 1 breakaway but as he tried to feed Sykes they couldn’t force the puck in as Rockman smothered. Off the face off Doug Shepherd broke down the other end and fired a shot into the pads of SteelDogs netminder Bowns.

Both teams were still trading chances and penalties as Waller sat 2 minutes for hooking and Gomeniuk went for tripping to cut that powerplay short.

Slough equalised during this 4 on 4 time as a quick face off win was won and Pliskaukas tipped a Kieras shot in behind Bowns.

Aaron Connolly had a great chance to make it 3-2 to Slough as he was found all alone between the circles but his shot slid off his stick and went wide of the net.

The game went into the 3rd period and both teams knew the next goal would be huge.

Both teams again were creating chances as Calder for Slough shot from the point straight into the netminders pads and then Bebris did the same at the other end for Sheffield.

A powerplay chance then came the SteelDogs way and Pavel Gomeniuk made it count with 2 seconds left as he put a bullet in at the near post of Rockman from the slot.

A slip from one of the SteelDogs defencemen led to Bowns having to make a quick double save to keep the score at 3-2 as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

With 7.56 left an incident in behind the Jets net led to a fight between SteelDogs Payette and Watts from Slough, the latter getting a pasting from Sheffield’s enforcer still to skate away geeing up the fans as if he had actually done more than just be a human punch bag for 30 seconds.

As time started to run out for Slough, SteelDogs Ben Morgan was called for Boarding but they couldn’t force an equaliser and Janis Olozins fired the puck into the empty net with under 20 seconds left to seal a 4-2 win for the home team.

A great weekend for the SteelDogs with 4 points out of 4. Tonight was an extremely even game that could have gone either way and a great advert for the EPL. Fast and furious with a hatfull of chances for both teams, great netminding and 2 teams that seem to me are going to amongst the runners for some silverware this season.

- Adam Yates

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