Published Sunday, 06 April 2014
Action from the Giants v Steelers in Nottingham. (© Michael Cooper)
A sudden death goal from the Steelers left the Elite League champions rueing their missed opportunity to create a little bit of team history and claim the double for the first time.
Belfast had seemed the stronger side, with the better of the chances throughout the first period - though they failed to capitalise, taking the scoreless deadlock into the second.
It was then that both sides turned up the heat, with first blood going to the Giants courtesy of Cody Brookwell who fired home with just under five minutes gone.
But minutes later, Sheffield's Phil Hill found the net when a Stephen Murphy save rebounded into his path, taking the sides to 2-2.
Belfast pushed back though, and it was Colin Shields who netted their second to once again put the Giants in the lead.
With just over two minutes remaining, former Giant Chad Langlais delivered for the Steelers - setting up the second nervy third period for the Belfast side in as many days.
They had secured their place in the final with a 1-0 win over the Fife Flyers on Saturday, leaving it late for Kevin Saurette to net what was to be the winning goal halfway through the third period.
But on Sunday, it was to be even more nerve-wracking.
With the sides locked at 2-2 by the end of the third, the first team to score would walk away as Playoffs champions.
And the honour ultimately fell to Sheffield in less than two minutes of extra time.
The Steelers had taken a win in the second semi-final against Braehead Clan to book their place in a final they last won back in 2009.
Earlier, Giants stars had been named among the winners in the official Elite League awards, with Calvin Elfring picked up the Defenceman of the Year title.
Netminder Stephen Murphy was named British Player of the Year, while head coach Paul Adey was awarded Coach of the Year.
Elfring was also named in the Elite League All-Star team, alongside Jeffrey Szwez, Robbie Sandrock, and Kevin Saurette.
© UTV News