Power shortage in Sheffield Steelers ranks

Sheffield Steelers are tucked in nicely in third place with games in hand as they seek to claim their sixth Elite League title.

But if they are to make history by doing that, they are going to have to be much more clinical on their Power Plays.

Last weekend saw Paul Thompson’s men beat Fife 4-1 at home and 4-2 away, fine results against a side that can be difficult to break down.

But a closer look at the stats confirms the frustration of some fans on Saturday -a failure to deliver when they have a man or even two-men advantage.

In Saturday’s match they failed to convert on EIGHT PPs. On Sunday on the road, they couldn’t hit the net on two.

Inability to finish off these advantages can take the win out of the attacking team’s sails and encourage their opponents.

Mike Ratchuk: engineered an even handed goal for Steelers last weekend.

Mike Ratchuk: engineered an even handed goal for Steelers last weekend.

Speaking after the Saturday victory, Thompson said: “We didn’t take the chances.

“We had some five on three time and we really should score and execute and we didn’t do that.

“The Power Play hasn’t been going and it has been pretty good all year.

“We were better five on five than we were five on four or five on three.

“When you have a five on three and you don’t execute it properly, to the way we have been practising it, and nothing happens, it kind of takes the energy out of the guys on the ice and on the bench.

“Especially when you get a lot of PPs early on in the game, it doesn’t go your way. Once we re-grouped though we were worthy winners.”

Thompson had been visibly annoyed when super-skilled d-man Ben O’Connor had not followed directions on one PP.

The coach acknowledged: “Ben, on the five on three, made a pass which isn’t what we were looking to do.

“But he is that type of player on another day it comes off and you score a goal.

“The PP has been pretty strong (previously) we are third in the League for a reason.”

Steelers host Coventry Blaze in the Challenge Cup Group on Saturday, a competition they have already have already reached the quarter final in.

Thompson said: “We want to win every game, we want to top the group.

“We feel we have had a good cup group so far, we are at home, we are going to bring Liam (Kirk) and Cole (Shudra) up, our great young guys, that we can blood. Cole might play on the back end, it is a good opportunity to take a look at him.”

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