Sheffield Steelkings edged out the Cardiff Huskies in an eleven goal thriller at IceSheffield on Sunday.
The Steelkings, who won 3-1 in Cardiff last month, found themselves 2-0 down inside four minutes thanks to a brace from Tyler Christopher. The first followed a rare mistake by Matt Clarkson, who coughed up the puck deep in his own zone, but he scored twice as they rallied back to 2-2 at the end of the first period. The second was a spectacular, powerful lob from inside his own half.
Sheffield took control of the second period with Clarkson completing his hat-trick with a power-play goal before setting up Matt Woollias to give the Steelkings a 4-2 lead.
The third period began with a flurry of goals: the Huskies struck back through Christopher only for Clarkson to restore Sheffield’s two goal lead. At times Sheffield committed defensive errors and they left players exposed against Cardiff’s lightning quick counter-attack. The Huskies came roaring back to tie the game with two goals in little over a minute from their star-man Christopher – assisted three times on the day by Captain Paul Furber.
With the game tied it came down to the Chairman to win it, and Jake Oakley tipped in Woollias’ shot at the back post with just under five minutes remaining to give the Steelkings a 6-5 lead.
Cardiff fought back, and Clarkson took a t-ing penalty inside the final ninety seconds to set up a tense finish but the Steelkings penalty-kill held on to record a vital win over a title challenging rival.
In the league’s point scoring system, Sheffield earned 3.5 points and Cardiff 1.5.
Oakley said, “We showed a lot of spirit and fight to come back from being two early goals down against a strong Huskies team and win. I don’t think any of us had our best game, but good teams find a way to win didn’t give up. When they came back to 5-5 we went out there and got the game won again and I’m proud of that. We might have dropped some of the bonus points, but the important thing was to pick up the win and still be undefeated.”
Steelkings goalie Bryan Hackworth made twelve saves to Cardiff Susan Cooke’s thirteen.