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|Challenge Cup Group B|
17th September 2005
|Referee: M Hicks|
|Match complete||Newcastle Vipers|
|2 : 1 : 1 = 4||Goals||0 : 1 : 1 = 2|
|10 : 5 : 10 = 25||Shots||5 : 10 : 13 = 28|
|2 : 2 : 10 = 14||Penalties in Minutes||8 : 0 : 12 = 20|
Sheffield Steelers 4-2 Newcastle Vipers
Sheffield missing Rod Sarich (concussion) and with two imports still to arrive, so Mark Dutiaume played defence but still scored 2. The game started 28 minutes late after Newcastle were delayed by traffic.
Steelers bagged their first victory of the season as Vipers took an overly physical approach hoping to profit from Sheffield's lack of defencemen and move into second spot in their Challenge Cup group.
A crowd of 2645 saw Dutiaume seal the win 29 seconds from time with an empty net goal with Trevor Koenig lifted for the extra skater.
Vipers kept getting their big forwards in front of home goalie Jody Lehman but the ex-Blaze netminder was unflappable.
Steelers started the brightest, and with a delayed penalty for cross-checking against Mel Angelstad allowing Sheffield to add a sixth skater, veteran Ron Shudra opened the scoring from the right wing (3:53).
Vipers immediately started to pressure Lehman but Shudra got away behind their defence going close in to force a fine stop from Koenig to the goalie's right.
Sheffield got the momentum back as Vipers continued to take penalties and the period ended with Simon Leach (elbows) and Matus Petricko (cross-checking) giving up 82 seconds of 5-on-3 play. Mark Dutiaume made it count, blasting in from 12 feet (19:20).
Steelers created the early chances in the middle period with Andrew Luciuk starting to find his range. But Lehman was being kept busy by David Longstaff and Jonas Lennartsson took a tripping penalty behind his own net.
On the powerplay Longstaff wristed a shot from the left wing which Lehman blocked, but the loose puck reached Gomenyik just 6 feet out. The Viper delayed his shot and Lehman got across to cover.
Three minutes later that miss was rubbed home when the puck fell kindly for Warren Tait to fire home his first goal for the Steelers (35:36).
Vipers didn't drop their heads, however and Eric Beaudion was all alone in front of Lehman to redirect Longstaff's pass into the net (38:26).
Vipers kept pressing in the final session with the home side more intent on preventing further goals.
Mike Peron took a hooking penalty and immediately after the resulting face-off Lennartsson's stick caught Leach in the face. Leach fell dramatically to the ice, resulting in an unsportsmanlike penalty for diving whilst the Steeler received 2+2 for high sticks.
So Vipers had 1 min 54 of 5 on 3 play. Alas for them just 12 seconds later Beaudion took a 2+2 for high sticks and the sides skated 4-on-3.
A neat passing move saw Jonathan Weaver find David Longstaff beyond the far post who passed back across the face of goal for Petricko to fire home at Lehman's right post.
A one goal lead was now within reach for Vipers, but a rash of late penalties to both sides killed the momentum of the game and Steelers closed the game out reasonably comfortably.
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