SHEFFIELD STEELERS saw their five-game winning streak come crashing to an end with a 6-2 defeat in the Challenge Cup at Manchester Storm.
The Steelers remain top of the Group C standings, but only have one game remaining, when Manchester visit South Yorkshire on October 30.
In truth, Friday night's game was lost inside the first 15 minutes when the Steelers found themselves trailing 4-0.
They managed to pull it back to within two before the first intermission, but Ryan Finnerty's side steadied the ship and ensured two valuable points with a goal in each of the remaining two periods.
Scott Simmonds got the ball rolling with just 59 seconds on the clock at Altrincham Ice Arena, before setting up Raymon Grewal to double the Storm's advantage less than three minutes later.
Kyle Hope made it 3-0 at 8.02 before Zach Sullivan saw Pavel Kantor beaten for a fourth time with just 14.57 on the clock.
Michael Davies got the Steelers on the board a minute later and John Armstrong added a second with a tip-in on the power play at 18.00 to put his team in the ascendancy going into the first break.
But Cody Thompson's strike just after the halfway mark put paid to any hopes of a comeback from the visitors, with Adam Hughesman rounding the scoring off inside the last two minutes with a power play strike.
The Steelers return to Elite League action on Sunday (4pm) when they welcome Dundee Stars to the FlyDSA Arena.