Final Steelers league game of the season: Milton Keynes 1-4 Sheffield Steelers

Tom Barrasso: last league game in charge for Steelers
Tom Barrasso: last league game in charge for Steelers

For Milton Keynes Lightning, it was Brexit Day - their last game in the Elite League before voting for the newly-announced National Ice Hockey League. For Sheffield Steelers, they were saying their own goodbye...and good riddance to a League season of vapid underachievement.

For Tom Barrasso it was his 54th birthday on his 53rd Steelers match and his last regular season game at the helm. 

The team now move on to the play off quarter finals against Cardiff Devils, an awe-inspiring challenge.

Sunday evening saw Steelers win 4-1; which means they ended up winning exactly half of their 60-game campaign.

Sheffield's generally ineffectual League series, which began in September with a 3-2 home defeat to MKL, ended at the same opposition with a seventh place in the standings.

MKL, smashed 9-1 at Cardiff Devils on Saturday night came up against a rested Sheffield side intent on making a play off statement. And Steelers went for an early kill, with Anthony DeLuca, Jonathan Phillips and Evan McGrath testing Patrick Killeen in goal.

Tanner Eberle at MKL

Tanner Eberle at MKL

The 6ft 4ins Canadian showed he was on top of his game as he stopped a Tanner Eberle solo attack. But Eberle was not to be denied and scored, unassisted, 18:08, a deflection, and his first goal and second point in nine games.

It was a deflating experience for the 15 players of MKL, coming just before the first break.

Steelers, with six more bodies to chose from, couldn't exploit a Harry Ferguson roughing penalty in the middle period. But they managed to do just that on a penalty kill, Jonas Westerling hitting a post before Jordan Owens planted in number two.

The margin didn't make it any easier for Killen, with more rubber directed his way from ex MKL team-mate Eric Neiley and Tom Zanoski.

And it was Zanoski who arrived at the far post at the right time to convert the 3-0 marker. 

Killen's towering presence continued to be MKL's most valuable asset, stopping John Armstrong and Josh McFadden.

MK desperately wanted a goal for their loyal fans and they got it from another ex Steeler Tim Wallace at 52:56 (powerplay.)

Armstrong ended the rally with a late goal.

*Belfast Giants are this season’s champions.