The Steelers came back from two goals down tonight, but despite rattling the ironwork on three separate occasions, were unable to find the winner as the Guildford Flames took the extra point on offer through penalties as the Steelers were unable to convert on their four shots taken.
Crinella gave the Flames a one goal lead in the first period before McParland netted again for the Flames early in the second. The Steelers made their comeback through Neumann and Ciampini but were unable to take the momentum into overtime and penalties as earlier goal scorers Crinella and McParland netted their penalty shots for the extra point.
The in-form Steelers welcomed the Guildford Flames to the Utilita Arena tonight. The Steelers took wins over the Dundee Starts and Belfast Giants last weekend in Elite League action before completing a comprehensive 5-1 win over the Manchester Storm mid-week in the first leg of the Challenge Cup Quarter Final.
With Sam Jones being placed on Injury Reserve for what looks like a minimum of six weeks, the Steelers welcomed new family member Zach Vinnell onto the ice pre-game to take in the applause of his new fans.
Zach would have to wait for his Steelers debut as Fox swapped Morrone for Greenfield from the team that took victory in Manchester earlier in the week as Shudra continued to take his place on the defensive line alongside Nevalainen.
We also had the pleasure of welcoming Kevin Tansey’s Dad who took the chance to snap some shots of is own in the tunnel pre-game.
First Period (0-1)
Despite the recent form of the Steelers, it was the Flames who had the better of the first period. Despite out-shooting the Flames by 11 to 8, it was the Flames with the more clear cut chances, and that was taken full advantage of early in the game at (5.23) when the Flames went one up.
A well worked goal from the Flames, in close on Greenfield as Crinella took his chance well, skating across the face of Greenfield and lifting the puck over the glove on the backhand as Furguson picked up the assist.
Both teams then killed off minor penalties as Glover was sent to the box for tripping, before Dowd sat for two minutes for a boarding minor in his own zone as the Flames took the one goal advantage into the second period.
Second Period (1-2)
A powerplay goal for the Guildford Flames at (24.18) added a second and set the Steelers an uphill battle as Cole Shudra was sent to the box for a slashing call behind his own goal. A strange goal as McParland went to round the net, but send the puck out in-front, only to take a horrid bounce off Greenfield’s skate and into his own net.
The Steelers were in need of the next goal, and they got just that through Brett Neumann at (28.55) after picking up the puck in the slot from Mikko Juusola and he made no mistake beating Flames golie, McAdam. Colton Saucerman with the second assist on this one.
The Steelers looked set to tie the game shortly afterwards as the puck fell to Patrick Watling around the face-off dot in the Flames zone and he had an empty net to aim for as McAdam was scrambling to get back across his crease, but Watling could only find the outside of the ironwork to the groans of the crowd around the arena.
It would be the ironwork that saved the Flames again late in the period with the Steelers on a powerplay after Crocock took out Nicholls at the blueline and was called for interference. This time it was Saucerman who smashed a wrister from the blue line but a slight deflection in-front was enough to find the wrong side of the ironwork as the Steelers went into the period break still trailing by one.
Third Period (2-2)
The ice seemed to tilt in the direction of the Flames goal during the third period as the Steelers went to work looking for the equaliser, raining in 40 shots all in all on McAdam’s goal.
The equaliser was found in the 47th minute at (47.21) on the powerplay as ex-Steeler, Ben O’Connor was sent to the box for hooking. Colton Saucerman with a huge wrister from the blue line was tipped down by Daniel Ciampini and into the back of the net but there was to be a delay in celebrations as the referees took to the laptop screens to check for high sticks, but there were no problems found and a good goal was given.
The netminders then traded saves as Greenfield denied Bajkov on a breakaway before McAdam denied Neumann from point blank range.
The Steelers then had another big chance to find the winner as the Flames were called for a delay of the game on Austin Glover, but McAdam came up big denying Neumann once again, sending the game to overtime.
Overtime & Penalties (2-3)
The steelers got a bit of luck themselves from the ironwork as Balmas lost the puck behind his own net and the puck found it’s way to Matt Alvaro who rung one off the crossbar.
The Steelers then thought they had the game-winning goal on the buzzer as the puck was sent into an open net at the back post by Dowd, but another review from the referees ruled the goal crossed the line after the buzzer and sent the game to penalties.
With Balmas, Watling, Nicholls and Juusola unable to convert their efforts, the Flames took the extra point back to Guildford as earlier goal scorers Crinella and McParland came up good once again finding the back of Greenfield’s net.
Awards & Table
Flames netminder McAdam was awarded the Man of the Match for his 38 saves before Colton Saucerman picked up the award for the Steelers.
The one point is still enough to keep the Steelers top of the tree with 23 points from the 14 games played with the Cardiff Devils now in hot pursuit with 21 from 15.
Up next is a trip to Fife tomorrow night to take on the Flyers before they make the return trip next Saturday for our next home game, which is also Teddy Toss night! 7pm face-off – see you then!!