By John Slater
Thursday evening saw the Bees head north for a rare midweek match-up versus the Sheffield Steeldogs.
The Bees were missing Carl Thompson, Carl Graham and Rio Grinell-Parke whilst the Steeldogs were at full strength. Referee Andrew Miller took charge of the match with Scott Ellis & Harvey Otter on the lines.
The early play and opening minutes of the game saw both teams struggle to stamp their authority on the game or create many clear cut opportunities. Possession game and went for both teams with the netminders equal to each in other in keeping any early efforts at bay. With just over seven minutes on the clock of the opening period however it was the traveling Bees that struck first through Luka Basic and following the goal the Bees enjoyed a good period of pressure keeping James Hadfield active in the Steeldogs net. The home side however battled their way back into the game and enjoyed some pressure of their own with Alex Mettam needing to be alert to preserve the Bees narrow one goal lead. A penalty on the Bees Lukas Smital would see the home side start the second period with a power play opportunity.
The Bees dug in and saw off the penalty well to start the period, seeing off a couple of efforts the Sheffield side created. The Bees were enjoying some good possession of their own and Hadfield had to be alert to deny a breakaway effort for the Bees. Only moments later however the Bees did extend their lead as Josh Smith netted past Hadfield for the Bees second goal with just over seven minutes gone in the second twenty. Krystof Kafan picked up a interference minor which the Bees again saw off effectively before Kafan was again penalised for interference only ninety seconds later. Things got even worse for the Bees as Josh Tetlow joined Kafan in the penalty box, for boarding, and the home side Steeldogs had a 5 on 3 power play. The Bees did well to dig deep and see off all the penalties and get back to full strength and a minute later go further ahead as Olegs Lascenko netted the Bees third goal of the evening with five minutes left in the second period. More Bees pressure was exerted in the dying minutes but with no further reward.
With a three goal lead the Bees were looking to see out the final twenty minutes to pick up their third win of the season, all on the road. Both sides came out for the final period at full pace and the play swung from end to end with chances being created by both teams but both netminders were not to be beaten in the final period despite a late penalty on the Bees Kystof Kafan and the Steeldogs removing James Hadfield for the extra attacker. The period ended goal-less and the Bees had picked up the two points on the road.
The man of the match awards went to Alex Mettam for the traveling Bees and to for Arnoldas Bosas for the home side Steeldogs.
Period scores: 0-1; 0-2; 0-0
Steeldogs scorers: None
Bees scorers: Smith 1+2; Lascenko & Basic 1+1; Spearing & Gaborcik 0+1
Steeldogs PIMS: None
Bees PIMS: 10 (Kafan 6; Tetlow & L.Smital 2)
Shots on Steeldogs (Hadfield): 41 (18, 10, 13)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 36 (11, 14, 11)