The Owls suffered a late double Boxing Day blow as Stoke came from behind to win 3-2 at the bet365 Stadium.
James McClean gave the home side a perfect start and the Potters seemed on course for a vital win as they dominated the first half.
Wednesday were under par but sprang into life with a two-goal burst in the second period – first through Morgan Fox and then what looked to be a winner from skipper Tom Lees.
However, the hosts delivered a late, late twin salvo, with Tyrese Campbell and Sam Vokes breaking Wednesday hearts.
Stoke settled the sooner and were rewarded 10 minutes in. Sam Clucas hung a cross to the far post, where Joe Allen shot goalwards before McClean applied the finishing touch almost on the line.
McClean was proving a real threat down the left and the Irishman sent another teaser into the danger zone and Lee Gregory was a whisker away from connecting.
Stoke belied their league position with purposeful play and Wednesday struggled to get out of their own half.
But such is the attacking prowess in the ranks, the Owls all too often look likely to score and this they almost did from their first attack of note on the half-hour.
Kadeem Harris delivered a clever cross into the path of the onrushing Adam Reach, whose header came back into play off the upright.
And the Potters snatched that lifeline to create a clear cut chance from which they should have doubled their lead on 40 minutes.
McClean was again the architect, this time teeing up Clucas but Cameron Dawson dived to clear with his legs to keep the game at 1-0 going into the break.
The Owls survived a penalty shout just after the restart when Clucas went down under a Massimo Luongo challenge but the referee said no.
Despite seeing more of the ball in the second half Wednesday struggled to make an impact in the final third – until the 68th minute when they fashioned an equaliser.
Barry Bannan sent over an in-swinging corner that Fox expertly guided beyond Jack Butland with the merest of flicks.
Then, seven minutes later, the Owls stormed into the lead. The source was the same, a Bannan corner, with substitute Sam Winnall forcing a reflex save from Butland, who palmed on to the bar.
But the Stoke keeper was out of luck as Lees was roaming and ready to pounce, which he duly did from close range.
The Potters pressed in the closing stages and Dawson did superbly well to thwart the returning Ryan Shawcross, punching the centre half’s header away from danger.
Stoppage time loomed and Stoke went all out for an equaliser, piling men forward, and this tactic proved fruitful on 90+4 minutes.
After some back and forth headers in the Owls’ box, the ball found its way to Campbell, who placed his effort high past Dawson to restore parity.
Then, three minutes later, a Potters corner fell to Vokes on the line and the Welsh international poked the ball into the back of the net to give the home side a dramatic win.
Wednesday: Dawson, Palmer, Iorfa, Lees, Fox, Reach, Luongo (Hutchinson 57), Bannan, Harris, Nuhiu (Murphy 65), Rhodes (Winnall 59)