The Stena Line Belfast Giants lost out to the Steelers on Sunday following a tense game in Sheffield. Despite early dominance in the game, the Giants could not hold out as the Steelers claimed a 2-1 win in front of their home fans. Although the Giants do remain in top spot of the Elite League standings ahead of Friday’s home game against the Nottingham Panthers.
The game shot into action immediately with Gareth Roberts given a 2 minute penalty by Referee Mike Hicks for Hooking after 2:17. While on the penalty kill, Defenceman Jeff Mason passed the puck to Darryl Lloyd who cleared his zone, skated through the neutral zone and then went on to fire the puck past Frank Doyle in the Sheffield goal to give the Giants a 1-0 lead and Lloyd’s first goal of the season. The Giants goal brought the Sheffield Steelers into life and, after a period of sustained pressure, they got their equalising goal through winger Stefan Meyer, assisted by Steven Goertzen and Jeff Legue, to claim his 8th goal of the season.
The second period, like the first, sprung to life right away with Referee Hicks awarding Belfast two penalty shots only for both to be saved by Steelers netminder Frank Doyle, first from Jeffrey Szwez then Gareth Roberts was to be the second Giant to be denied by Doyle. Both sides had three powerplay opportunities throughout the period, however neither could convert past netminders Stephen Murphy and Frank Doyle who had turned away 13 shots and 15 shots by the end of the second period respectively.
This Elite League game was set up for a winner-takes-all third period and both teams came out of the blocks nervous, not wanting to make any mistakes. The Giants spent most of the period absorbing plenty of pressure from the hosts and killed off two Steelers powerplays as the home side began to dominate the game. Then, with less than 5 minutes of the game remaining the Steelers dealt the decisive blow. Following good work behind the net by Jason Hewitt, he fed the puck to Jonathan Phillips at the back post who crashed the puck into the back of Stephen Murphy’s net for the game winning goal.
The Stena Line Belfast Giants are back in action on Friday 25th October against the Nottingham Panthers, face-off 7pm at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast.
Sheffield Steelers 2-1 Belfast Giants
Next up is the Nottingham Panthers at 7pm, Friday at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast!
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) October 20, 2013