SHEFFIELD STEELDOGS’ English Premier League woes continued as their losing streak was extended to 10 games.
A 6-1 thumping at second-placed Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday night was followed by a second successive defeat at the hands of bottom club and bottom club Manchester Phoenix.
A 4-2 win for Tony Hand’s team - courtesy of goals from Roman Malinik, Robin Kovar, Vaclav Meidl and former Steeldogs’ favourite Edgars Bebris - took them to within six points of eighth-placed Steeldogs, who have an early chance of exacting revenge when the two meet again on Saturday at Ice Sheffield.
In Milton Keynes, Greg Wood’s team were three down inside 10 minutes and, despite recovering with a 17th-minute strike from Macaulay Heywood, there was no way back for the visitors.
It proved a profitable weekend against Yorkshire opposition for Milton Keynes, whose 4-0 win at third-placed Hull Pirates saw them increase their advantage over the East Yorkshire club to nine points.
Not surprisingly, the game was a tight affair, the deadlock not being broken until the 28th minute through Craig Scott, with Adam Carr doubling the visitors’ advantage just over five minutes later.
The killer goal came early in the third when Scott grabbed a second, with a powerplay marker from Tom Carlon at 55.18 completing a deserved win.
Despite the setback, Hull player-coach Dominic Osman remained proud of his players’ efforts on a night where few “bounces” went their way.
“The effort was obviously there tonight, we came out and played hard but it was just one of those games where we couldn’t buy a goal and they capitalised on their chances,” said Osman.
“They played a very smart, simple road game but I don’t think the scoreline reflects the kind of game that it was. Unfortunately for us in terms of our chances it seems that the puck was bouncing all over the place for us and they got a few lucky bounces.”