SHEFFIELD STEELERS fought back from two goals down in their Elite League opener against Cardiff Devils - but had to settle for just a point after the defending champions struck deep into overtime.
Justin Faryna was the man responsible for sending Steelers' fans home with mixed feelings, pouncing with just 38 seconds left of an entertaining 3-on-3 overtime that had seen the home side enjoy the better of the chances, only to be denied by Devils' Rotherham-born netminder, Ben Bowns.
The reason it went to the extra five minutes was down to Steelers'; refusal to buckle after going 3-1 down early in the second period.
After Colton Fretter had pounced in the 31st minute to make it a one-goal game, the home side enjoyed the better of the exchanges in the third period and pulled themselves level when John Armstrong drove the net to lift the puck over Bowns into the roof of the net on 49.05
The teams had gone in after the first 20 minutes all square after Armstrong's 12th-minute strike cancelled out Sean Bentivoglio's sixth-minute powerplay opener.
Steelers had been in the ascendancy towards the end of the first but found themselves two goals adrift within five minutes of the restart when Cardiff struck twice in 36 seconds.
First, Joey Martin found himself free in front of Ervins Mustukovs to force the puck home at 23.46 before Matt Pope pounced at 24.22 to make it 3-1.
For the next few minutes, the Steelers - surprised to find themselves two goals in arrears - struggled to gain possession, Mustukovs turning away several chances, most notably from Faryna and Devils' player-coach Andrew Lord.
Crucially, the Steelers got back to within one goal again just after the halfway point when a busy powerplay eventually paid off. Ben O'Connor fired in a rasping effort from the blue line which Bowns could only parry into the path of the oncoming Fretter, who fired home.
Armstrong's second deservedly drew the hosts level before the lottery of 3-on-3 went against them.