Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates were on the wrong side of a 15-goal thriller on Sunday night, extending their winless streak to four games.
The Pirates, coming into the game short-benched with 3 key players missing, struggled to get up to pace against a well-drilled Dogs side looking for revenge following the Pirates’ smash-and-grab win a couple of weekends ago.
In the opening 15 minutes both sides were evenly matched. Vladmir Luka opened the scoring for the Dogs after 9 minutes, with Lee Bonner equalising 5 minutes later. As the period entered its’ latter stages the visitors shifted through the gears, Ashley Calvert, James Spurr and Alex Graham all finding their way past the home side to give the Steeldogs a 4-1 lead. Bonner grabbed his second of the game with just 22 seconds remaining of the period, the Sheffield team owning a 4-2 lead at the first break.
The second period saw both sides create chances in an attempt to gain momentum, and indeed, it was the Pirates who struck first. Bonner completed his hat-trick after 24 minutes, clawing the game back to a one-goal deficit.
The gap widened once again after Nathan Salem restored the Dogs’ 2-goal lead on the half-hour mark, taking the score to 5-3. Shortly after, the Dogs’ Thomas Barry was penalised for cross-checking and during the resulting power play, Bonner found the net yet again for his, and the Pirates’ fourth goal.
The visiting Dogs struck back almost immediately, Alex Graham with a power play goal of his own following an interference call on Olegs Sislannikovs; again providing the Steeldogs with a 2-goal cushion.
As the second period drew to a close, the Dogs found the back of the net via a Jan Danecek’s shot, resulting in a 7-4 lead for the visitors at the end of 40 minutes.
The Pirates struggled to build momentum at the start of the third period until a scuffle after the whistle saw Jordan Fisher and Charles Thompson drop the gloves.
A mere minute later and the home team found the goal they desperately needed; Sislannikovs beating Dmitri Zimozdra to claw the score back to 7-5. With the game beginning to swing Hull’s way, Johnathan Kirk unleashed a screamer of a shot, which pinged down and in off the bar to pull the margin back to just one goal.
Seemingly shell-shocked and on the defensive, the Steeldogs called their time-out in an attempt to stem the tide. However, it was not meant to be as Sislannikovs grabbed his second of the night on the 55 minute mark to tie the game at 7-7.
Unfortunately, the three unanswered goals could not complete the comeback as immediately following the face-off, Salem skated through the Pirates players to slot past Smith and score the game winner, consigning the Pirates to their fourth regulation loss in a row.
Man of the Match Awards:-
Sheffield Steeldogs – #12 Kieran Brown
Hull Pirates – #74 Lee Bonner
Greig Cardwell – Hull Pirates Media Partner