It’s all to play for on Sunday as the Steelers take a 5-4 lead into the play-off quarter-final second leg in Cardiff.
Steelers had led 5-1 early in the 3rd period after John Armstrong had scored shorthanded. The hopes of the crowd were high but Cardiff showed their character scoring 3 without reply in the final session to leave it all on the line on Sunday.
Robert Dowd had the Steelers off to the perfect start scoring the only goal of the first period at 4.26
Layne Ulmer equalised 2 minutes into the middle period but the Steelers were about to raise the roof of the arena.
Dowd scored his 2nd halfway through the period for a 2-1 scoreline with Armstrong and Davey Phillips assisting.
A huge turning point, 30.48 and Anthony DeLuca headed to the box for roughing with Devils James Livingston who took 2 for tripping and a 5-minute penalty and game misconduct for spearing.
The resulting power-play saw the Steelers take the advantage. Jordon Owens made it 3-1 at 31.25
Big John then scored a minute later for a 4-1 lead.
Josh Pitt took a 2-minute tripping penalty with just 22 seconds left in the period.
Steelers headed into the 3rd period and quickly made it 5-1 when Neiley and D. Phillips assisted Armstrong’s second goal (shorthanded)
Devils weren’t done though and hit back 5-2 at 45.31 when Bentivoglio scored from close range.
Joey Martin then narrowed the lead to 5-3 (assisted Linglet and Mosey) at 54.20
Into the final 2 minutes and Tanner Eberle was called for hooking – the Devils responded with Bentivoglio scoring his second with 1.56 remaining in the game.
Final score: Steelers 5-4 Cardiff Devils.
Head coach Tom Barrasso received a standing ovation at the end of the game, his last behind the arena bench.
Steelers travel to Cardiff tomorrow for a 6pm face-off in the second leg.