BRADFORD BULLDOGS may have seen their three-game winning streak snapped last weekend, but head coach Andy Brown still took some positives from the defeat on home ice to Sheffield Titans. 

The last time these two met at ‘The Pound’, the Titans snatched a 6-5 victory with just seconds remaining on the clock.

And although their 10-7 win last Sunday was by a greater margin, it was another evenly-fought encounter between the two, the result allowing Sheffield to move above Altrincham Aces and three points clear of seventh-placed Bradford in the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) North Two standings.

“I felt we played okay, offensively we were strong and on most days seven goals should be enough to win you the game,” said Brown. “We probably had more possession of the puck and our discipline was also good throughout the game. 

“The shots on goal were equal so, ultimately, Sheffield were just that bit more clinical with their finishing.”

It was the Bulldogs who got out of the traps first, Mikey Speare’s persistence paying off when he drove towards net and was rewarded with the opening goal with just 61 seconds on the clock.

Sheffield levelled through the impressive Ben Cutts when he advanced to fire past Jake Lowndes from the top of the right circle at 8.23. 

The Bulldogs then suffered a blow when forward Jack Wooding was forced off injured around the 16-minute mark and, soon after, the Titans forged ahead through a breakaway effort from Scott Howells.

Sheffield strengthened their grip on the game with two more goals from Cutts early in the second, first firing the puck in off the unsuspecting Lowndes from behind the net at 21.39 before beating the Bulldogs’ goalie from the left circle just 27 seconds later.

Josh Stockton then got the Bulldogs back in the game from close in at 27.45 before the teams traded further goals between Cutts and Medley to leave the visitors 5-3 ahead after 35 minutes.

A second for Medley at 37.21 on a breakaway brought the Bulldogs back to within one goal but, from the resulting face-off, Jacob Brammer won the puck in his own zone before driving down the right-hand side.

He cut in and fired over Lowndes’ right shoulder and into the roof of the net for an excellent goal just 16 seconds later.

Another breakaway then allowed Cutts to grab his fifth goal to see the Titans go in 7-4 ahead at the second intermission.

Any hopes the Bulldogs may have had of a comeback in the third were dented when Gabriel Fisher made it 8-4 in the 45th minute and although Jason Devaney tipped in from in front off Stockton on the power play two minutes later, the points were gone when Sheffield scored two goals in just over a minute.

Fisher grabbed his second of the game at 51.14 before Oliver Wagg made it 10-5 soon after.

Stockton added two power play goals inside the last five minutes, but it was too little, too late from the Bulldogs.

Bradford are not in action this weekend, but make up for that with a double-header just before Christmas.