SHEFFIELD Steelers finished the weekend on a high by topping their Challenge Cup group after a 2-1 victory at Coventry Blaze last night.
But the South Yorkshire club’s supporters will probably remember the weekend for different reasons following a shock 2-1 home defeat to the Elite League’s bottom club and traditional whipping boys Edinburgh Capitals on Saturday.
After the weekend was completed, that home setback left the Steelers six points adrift of current leaders Nottingham Panthers in the overall league standings, and four behind second-placed Belfast Giants.
Curtis Leinweber put sa much-improved Edinburgh in front at 25.19 with a powerplay goal and the visitors held on until there were 20 seconds remaining in the second period when Matt Stephenson levelled.
But, against the form book, the visitors stunned their hosts for a second time, when Willie Nicolson scored what proved to be the game-winner at 53.46.
Hull Stingrays could not make the most of a good first period at Nottingham – going in 3-1 ahead but eventually losing 8-4.
Tom Squires, Matty Davies, player-coach Sylvain Cloutier and Janis Ozolins scored for Stingrays.
“Everything was looking good for a while,” said Cloutier. “We then had a four-minute powerplay early in the second and I don’t think we had a shot. They get their first powerplay and score. Our powerplay is bottom of the league and we need to improve.
“Special teams win you games.”