Dogs complete pre-season double over Lightning
The Bradfield Brewery Sheffield Steeldogs started their pre-season on Saturday with a trip to Milton Keynes to take on the Lightning. Kieran Brown was in the line-up with Ben Morgan watching from the bench.
The game got off to a lively start with hits all over the ice. There were chances at both ends with Jan Danecek nearly scoring on a power play after a sweet move. MK opened the scoring at 9:43 through Caly Robertson with the Dogs defence flat footed. Cam Brownley levelled within 2 minutes, set up by Luka and Calvert. Tim Smith was wrongfully sent to the box on a delay of game but Kieran Brown made it a positive with a beautifully taken breakaway goal beating MK keeper Jordan Lawday.
The Dogs got an early power play in the second period but MK had the better of it with Grinell-Parke scoring after Zimozdra had already denied another effort before. The Lightning went ahead with Calvert in the box Tanaka set up Narhi at 25:46. Good work from Brown set up Danecek who deked and deked and beat Lawday at 28:59. The action continued at pace and on a Dogs break out Brady Doxey set up Alex Graham who knocked the water bottle off the net at 32:11. The Kieran Brown shorthand breakaway made its second appearance but Lawday denied him. Tom Barry lost the puck in his own zone and after a concerted pressure it was Tanaka who made it 4-4 30 seconds before the break.
Curtis Warburton took over between the pipes for the third period. There were limited chances as the game settled a bit, Brown and Luka with shots that challenged Lawday. A Steeldogs 5 on 3 saw several shots and then a Brown rocket hit the back of the net. The second penalty had just expired as Graham set up Calvert from 2 feet out at 52:19. Dogs killed another penalty but Narhi found the net before the team had settled to make it a one goal game. The home side pulled the disappearing net minder trick with 30 seconds left but the navy jerseys kept them at bay to claim the win.
Assistant Coach Greg Wood spoke post-game;
“I’ve missed being part of the Steeldogs over the last couple of years. The club is close to my heart. I love being being a part of this team. It’s great to be back working with Morgs, with who I have a great relationship.
“We are trying to build an identity, it started to become clear tonight how we are going to play. I thought the first two periods were a little scrappy but we got into our stride in the third, we moved the puck around well. It was good to get off to a winning start.
“People say that results preseason don’t matter but we all want to get off to a winning start, get off on the right foot. We were strong in areas, we have a lot of offence and if we play to our strengths we are going to catch a lot of people out, we will cause teams some trouble.”
Sunday hockey action back at iceSheffield, Bradfield Brewery Sheffield Steeldogs v MK Lightning in preseason mode.
After a tough encounter the night before the two teams faced off in what was to be another battle. MK scored early doors as Ferguson netted and put the Dogs on the back foot. A flashpoint on 5:58 saw several players for each team take a seat in the box, penalties given as roughing, unsportsmanlike and interference. Sheffield benefited from a power play as Kieran Brown equalised at 7:14. The Steeldogs pushed on from here and Jan Danecek scored on 12:23 to nudge the Dogs ahead and then Ashley Calvert sent the Dogs further ahead with a short hander on 14:36. McPherson then pulled a goal back for MK on that power play to make it 3-2 at end of the 1st period.
There was no scoring in the middle period but plenty of physicality, an almighty scramble in the paint and some handbags by the benches resulted in McPherson receiving 2+2+10 roughing along with Graham and Thompson taking 2 mins each for the same.
Into the final period and there was still everything to play for from both teams. Zack Brown took over in the Dogs net. Eventually Kana equalised for MK on 49:31 and the game had more intensity; Clifford’s men wanted the W, as did Morgan’s Dogs. During a late power play, Lewis Bell opened his account for the season, getting a monkey off his back and giving the Steeldogs their second preseason victory.
End of the game Steeldogs 4-3 MK Lightning
Man of the match awards were presented to Rio Grinell-Parke for MK and the Northern Groundcare sponsored Jan Danecek for the Steeldogs.
Next up at iceSheffield is the league opener, Sheffield Steeldogs v Leeds Chiefs on Sunday 15th September.
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