Sheffield Steelers 4 Guildford Flames 4 - Dowd strikes crucial late blow for Steelers

FOR the second game running, Sheffield Steelers left it late to score a crucial goal, this time earning themselves an Elite League Challenge Cup lifeline in the process.

PERFECT TIMING: Rob Dowd celebrates his late equaliser against Guildford Flames. Picture: Dean Woolley.

On Sunday, the Steelers were 2-0 down with just 66 seconds of regulation remaining at Dundee Stars, before scoring three goals in less than two minutes saw them win 3-2 in overtime.

Given last night’s encounter at Sheffield Arena against Guildford Flames was only the first leg of their quarter-final tie, there was never going to be any winner on the night, but Robert Dowd’s strike just eight seconds from time was a crucial moment for the hosts, ensuring they go into next week’s second leg in Surrey pegged at 4-4.

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It was Guildford who struck the first blow, going ahead through Evan Ritt at 2.05, which is how it remained until just over 10 minutes later when Josh Pitt levelled.

Steelers then took control in the third period going ahead through Tanner Eberle at 3.28 before Anthony Deluca doubled the hosts’ advantage at 33.13.

But Guildford - winners on each of the three previous meetings this season between the two sides - came roaring back, making it a one-goal game again through Brett Ferguson at 39.30 before levelling through Ian Watters 37 seconds into the third period.

The Flames then regained the lead at 52.10 through Jesse Craige and looked almost certain of keeping that advantage for next week’s return leg until Dowd worked his magic.