Match report: Sheffield Steelers 2 Edinburgh Capitals 3

Steelers' Simon Ferguson in a goalmouth scramble
Steelers' Simon Ferguson in a goalmouth scramble

OLLY Murs, next door at Sheffield Arena, was banging out tunes from his album ‘Right Place Right Time.’

Sadly that phrase can’t be applied to Steelers right now. They have about as much chance of winning the League as I have of buying an Olly Murs CD.Saturday’s defeat by a plucky, but limited Edinburgh Capitals, was hardly a fluke.

A similar loss was inflicted at the same venue by the same team in December.

At the end of the weekend, Sheffield trailed Nottingham Panthers by 10 points, with six games left.

Tomorrow, they can emerse themselves in the Challenge Cup semi-final, where they will be expected to finish off the 4-2 job they did on Braehead Clan in the first leg.

But if they show Saturday’s form, don’t bank on anything.

Sheffield look a team sapped of confidence, mainly from the previous weekend’s season-defining losses at Nottingham and Belfast. Players are out of kilter with each other and on Saturday there was a general team disorientation that virtually invited Capitals to take the game to them.

That they did, finishing strongly and winning the match in a rank-poor penalty shoot out.

Coach Ryan Finnerty described himself as angry and frustrated. “We lacked any kind of jump and drive which is crazy,” he said. “We went away from the game plan and just started playing on our own. I struggle to think that this is the same team that was on incredible run just recently.”

His team got the first goal; Tylor Michel, playing with a broken finger, smashed the puck across in from wide left. It seemed only a matter of time until the next goal followed, with Jason Hewitt fanning on a Jonathan Phillips cross and Drew Fata slaspshot almost beheading the goalie.

They weren’t having it all their own way, with goalie John DeCaro earning his keep, especially when Michel took a penalty. During the penalty kill Ashley Tait raced clean through on a break away, but couldn’t beat the goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky.

But on a Caps’ PP, Peter Holecko fired in a deflection off Mark Thomas. Then the pass of the game, from Curtis Leinweber was tucked away by Richard Hartmann as Caps seized the initiative.

Penalties came - the winner coming from Caps’ Brent Petry.