Eamon McAdam did what he could, making 44 saves to keep Flames in it, but eventually Sheffield Steelers were able to find a way as they secured a 2nd period 2 goal advantage and used a late empty netter to guarantee a 4-1 win over the Flames on Spectrum ice.
In the opening set, Steelers commanded the shot count by zipping 18 at McAdam who was up to all of them while Flames directed 12 at Matt Greenfield who was also perfect as the sides began the 2nd still on a scoreless draw.
The 2nd period began much the way as the 1st, but Steelers eventually found the inevitable breakthrough with a Marc Olivier-Vallerand goal at 34:36 and they doubled the lead through Brett Neumann inside the last 2 minutes.
Brett Ferguson on a Flames powerplay pulled Spectrum’s men within a single less than 5 minutes into the frame, but a 54th minute reply by Evan Mosey erased that one and Brendan Connolly’s shot into a vacated cage 62 seconds from time ensured Steelers would run out with the league table points.
McAdam stopped 44 of 47 shots he faced and Matt Greenfield was 42 of 43.
“That was a tough one tonight, with a lot on the line and the pressure of trying to keep pace with Belfast at the top of the table,” said Paul Dixon.
“Eamon had a big night to keep us in it, but we didn’t have quite enough long term pressure across the evening to create the load of offence we needed to get something from the game.”
“Sheffield is a terrific hockey club and they did a lot of good stuff to keep us off the board, but we gave an effort and it just didn't come off tonight."
“We have another big set of games coming up including another crack at Steelers in their building next week after we see Glasgow here on Saturday, so we will get back to work this week in training and try to make the most of the schedule ahead.”