SHEFFIELD STEELDOGS’ losing streak was extended to five games in the English Premier League when they went down 5-2 at home to second-placed Milton Keynes Lightning.
It capped a fine weekend against Yorkshire opposition for second-placed Lightning after they had beaten Hull Pirates 6-3 the previous evening. Hull remain in third place, however, after they rebounded with a fantastic come-from-behind 4-3 win at home to in-form Basingstoke Bison, the result enough to keep their Hampshire rivals three points behind in fifth spot.
Basingstoke arrived in East Yorkshire buoyant from a 4-1 home win over Swindon, taking their recent run to 13 wins from their last 16 games.
A busy first period saw Hull take the lead at 10.02 through Jordan Fisher, only for Matt Towalski to level four minutes later.
The home side’s lead was restored through player-coach Dominic Osman just before the end of the first, with another leveller coming from the stick of Derek Roehl on the powerplay at 34.23.
Basingstoke then took the lead for the first time on the night through Stuart Mogg at 45.59, but their joy was short-lived when Andrej Themar replied four minutes later on the powerplay.
And it was another powerplay strike, this time from Ugnius Cizas that settled the clash, with just over two minutes remaining.
On Saturday, Hull started brightly in Milton Keynes, taking a ninth-minute lead on the powerplay through Osman.
The Lightning levelled through Antti Holli five minutes later but the Pirates raced into a 3-1 lead with two second-period goals in just over a minute, the first coming from Josh Gent at 26.40 before captain Nathan Salem added another 76 seconds later.
Perhaps crucially, the hosts made it a one-goal game just before the end of the second through Milan Baranyk’s powerplay marker, but Hull held maintained their advantage until a poor final 10 minutes saw them ship four goals.
Adam Carr levelled at 51.08 before Frantisek Bakrlik put Milton Keynes in front for the first time on the powerplay at 52.46.
Bobby Chamberlain made it 5-3 four minutes later before - as Hull chased a way back to parity - an empty-netter rounded off the night from Blaz Emersic with just 11 seconds remaining.
Just under 24 hours later, the Steeldogs found themselves 3-0 down to the Lightning at Ice Sheffield before they were able to get on the board.
A fourth-minute opener from Emersic followed by a 14th-minute powerplay marker from Chamberlain before Carr added a third early in the second period.
At 25.17, the hosts got back in the game through Arnoldas Bosas’s powerplay strike, but there was further misery when the next goal went the way of the visitors, Baranyk making it 4-1 just over two minutes into the third period.
Ashley Calvert gave the home fans some renewed hope when he pulled one back at 46.16, but that was relatively short-lived when Baranyk grabbed his second of the night four minutes later.