SHEFFIELD STEELERS ' head coach Aaron Fox believes his team were guilty of a missed opportunity after they crashed 8-5 at Glasgow Clan.
The weekend had started so well for Aaron Fox’s team when they stopped Coventry Blaze from winning for a third time at the FlyDSA Arena this season with a 4-1 victory.
That win came courtesy of goals from Eric Meland, Rob Dowd, Marek Troncinsky and Tanner Eberle - with former Steelers’ forward Luke Ferrara replying for the visitors.
And for 25 minutes or so last night in Glasgow, all was going pretty well for the Steelers after goals from Dowd, Brendan Connolly and Anthony DeLuca had them pegged level with Zack Fitzgerald’s team.
But three Clan goals in as many minutes around the halfway mark - the first from Travis Ehrhardt with further strikes from Rasmus Bjerrum and Mikael Lidhammar - left the Steelers with a mountain to climb.
It got worse when Scott Pitt made it 7-3 at 49.02 and although brief hope was sprung when Nikola Lemtyugov and Lucas Sandström both got on the scoresheet for the visitors, an empty net strike from Bjerrum with 55 seconds remaining put paid to any comeback bid.
"Each one of those three goals inside the tree or four second-period minutes can be accredited to guys losing one-on-one battles and the other guys cheating a bit on the offensive side," said Fox. "It's disappointing and I feel like it is a lost opportunity here tonight for us.
"We had a really good 60 minutes against Coventry and then tonight we kind of gave it away.
"You have to give credit to Glasgow as they came out and jumped all over us in that hockey game and got off to a good start. We got our wheels going about 10 minutes in, but anytime you give up seven goals 5-on-5, you're going to be disappointed and we'll have some stuff to look at tonight on video.
"Do I think we created enough offence to win a hockey game tonight? Yes, absolutely, but at the end of the day it comes down to one-on-one battles and we lost a lot of them in our own zone tonight.
"I thought we carried the game for most of the night, Glasgow did a good job of scoring on their opportunities when they had them and they played some good counter hockey."
Jack Musil's close-range opener at 1.57 had the Steelers on the backfoot straightaway, although after Scott Pitt had doubled the tally - again from near the crease at 7.20 - Dowd was quick to halve the deficit when back-handing in a rebound from John Armstrong's initial shot 59 seconds later.
The lead quickly became two goals again through Chad Rau's scrambled power play strike but, again, the Steelers made it a one-goal game when Connolly forced home the loose puck after DeLuca's initial strike couldn't be held by Patrick Killeen at 17.35.
DeLuca got his reward early in the second period, rather fortuitously awarded the Steelers' equalising goal after a mistake by Killeen.
However, a maddening a three-minute spell ultimately cost the Steelers' dearly. Ehrhardt restored the lead at 27:45, before Bjerrum made it 5-3 at 29:31 when left alone in front to convert a fee from Nolan Laporte. Just 59 seconds later, Mikael Lidhammar slotted home at the back post.
Pitt's strike added further comfort for the Clan and even though Lemtyugov and Lucas Sandström were able to ensure a few home nerves, the Steelers had left themselves with too much to do as the Clan exited the weekend with a three-point lead over second-placed Cardiff Devils.