15 Feb 2023, 19:30  |  Play-off  |  SF  |  Sheffield Arena
Sheffield Steelers4-4 Fife Flyers
( - )
Total: 40-21
Referees: Rose/Miller  |  Spectators: 9057
Goals and assists
01:12|home||1-0|Brett Neumann (Matt Petgrave, Martin Látal)
13:02|home|PPG|2-0|Carl Ackered (Danny Kristo, Brett Neumann)
14:33|home|PP2|3-0|Brendan Connolly (Marc-Olivier Vallerand, Matt Petgrave)
47:59|away||3-1|Jonas Emmerdahl
48:39|away||3-2|Mikael Johansson (Dillon Lawrence)
54:04|away|PPG|3-3|Lucas Sandström
59:42|home|EA|4-3|Danny Kristo (Marc-Olivier Vallerand, Robert Dowd)
65:00|away|SO|4-4|Mikael Johansson
Player statistics
Goalie statistics
Name SA GA MIN %
Matthew Greenfield|21|3|63:48|85.71
Curtis Warburton||||
Name SA GA MIN %
Andrew Little||||
Shane Owen|40|4|65:00|90.00
Game recap

Fife Flyers produced a stunning comeback from two goals down overall to qualify for their first-ever Viaplay Challenge Cup Final, beating Sheffield Steelers 7-6 on aggregate after a shootout was needed to decide a winner in front of over 9,000 fans at the Utilita Arena.

If Steelers Head Coach Aaron Fox could have drawn up the opening period, he probably wouldn't have done it much differently to how it played out. Matt Petgrave's fake shot opened up the passing lane to Brett Neumann to beat Shane Owen high and put the Steelers ahead just 72 seconds into the game - levelling the aggregate score in the process.

A not deliberate, but nonetheless clumsy high sticking penalty on Chris Gerrie put the Steelers on a four-minute powerplay where it took just shy of 90 seconds for Calle Ackered to crash a slapshot past Shane Owen at 13:02 to make it 2-0 and put the hosts ahead overall. Brendan Connolly tipped Marc-Olivier Vallerand's shot past Owen at 14:33 after Mikael Johansson's tripping minor put the Flyers down to just three skaters. Fife hung on to exit the period only three down on the night.

The Flyers grew into the game as period two went on, but it was still Sheffield who had the majority of the play and scoring chances - Evan Mosey seeing his shot trickle just wide of Owen's post the closest the home side came to extending that lead.

If the first period had been almost perfect for Fox, then Todd Dutiaume probably couldn't have planned the final period much better than it played out - bar perhaps the final 20 seconds. The Flyers hung around in the game long enough to only be two behind on aggregate with 13 minutes to go, and they got a lifeline off a Jonas Emmerdahl shot at 47:59 putting them just one behind on aggregate. Mikael Johansson's well-taken breakaway, finishing through Greenfield's five-hole, levelled the tie overall at 48:39, and there were scenes of delirium among the strong contingent of visiting fans when Lucas Sandström fired home in the slot at 54:04 while Brendan Connolly sat a hooking minor he took 150 feet from his own net.

Owen stood tall as the Steelers pushed late on, including a powerplay after Dillon Lawrence shot the puck out of bounds, but it seemed like the Flyers would hold out. That was until 18 seconds from the end of regulation when a broken play off an Ackered shot saw all eyes follow the puck, and Danny Kristo came in at the far post to draw the Steelers level on aggregate.

Overtime was nervy, frantic, and cautious at the same time. Vallerand saw a guilt-edge chance fly off Owen's shoulder, while at the other end Greenfield saved smartly from the impressive Johansson.

With no goals in the bonus period, the game was decided on penalty shots. No goals through the first four rounds made it sudden death in the fifth - when Robert Dowd missed, it fell to Johansson to score the only goal of the shootout and spark wild celebrations among Flyers players and fans.

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