In lieu of Friday night training, the Sheffield Lancers hit the rink to take on the Steelers Ball Hockey White team. This was to be the first game of two in the weekend for the Lancers, and they were looking to start the weekend with a win.
The Lancers saw a slightly depleted team take the rink, with only 2 people on the bench. Knights head coach David Grant took his position between the pipes in his first game back from a knee injury. This was to be his first game for the Lancers after playing 1 game for the Spartans post injury.
The game started off evenly, with both teams battling to create some good scoring chances, Grant and Steelers netminder Brett Ellis pulling off some good early saves to keep the game even.
The first goal of the night came from a high slot snipe from Richard Walsh, which found its way into the top left corner. The Lancers came out of the gates hard following the Steelers goal, and showed real determination to find their way onto the score sheet and even up the game.
After some very hard fought chances that were turned away by Ellis in the Steelers goal, the Lancers finally found the back of the net. A great pass from Lancers forward Harry Verity, in his first game for the Lancers this season after receiving the call up from the Spartans, found the stick of Matty Lanchester who buried the ball with a wrist shot under the arm of Ellis. The period played out evenly for the remaining time and at the whistle, the scoreboard showed 1-1.
The Lancers now faced an uphill battle. They not only had to take the lead and maintain it, they were also fighting their own exhaustion as the depleted numbers on the bench started to take its toll. This did not deter the determination of the Lancers, who fought right up to the final whistle.
The score was unfortunately not to go their way as 3 slap shots from the earlier Steelers goal scorer, Richard Walsh, found their way through traffic and into the back of the net. The Lancers were not without chances and they battled to bring themselves back into the game, but the Steelers stood strong and Ellis did everything he could to deny the Lancers the chance. A back-door chance for Lancers forward James Duffy was turned away with a lightning glove save by Ellis.
As the clock worked its way down to zero, the score of 4-1 remained and as the final whistle went, the Steelers took the victory. Steelers man of the match was given to Brett Ellis, for some show stopping saves that prevented the Lancers from getting back in the game. The Lancers man of the match was given to Matty Lanchester, who showed the abilities that he has developed in goal over the past 3 months for Lancers, as he threw his body in front of everything he could to keep his team in the game.
‘It was a hard-fought game from both teams and at points, the result could have gone either way’, said Knights assistant coach Joe Wait. ‘We were short benched, but we never let that show on the rink and the boys kept fighting to get back into the game. There are a lot of positives that we can take from the game right across the board; we never stopped going, we showed the commitment to put bodies in the way of the ball and put some fantastic chances in on goal. Overall, it was a great game to be a part of, and you have to tip your hat to the Steelers, who took their chances and did a great job of keep us out and maintaining the lead’.
The Lancers next hit the rink against Steelers Ball Hockey Blue team. Keep up to date by following @SheffKnights on Twitter and Sheffield Knights B.H.C on Facebook.