First strike to the Belfast Giants – a comprehensive 5-2 road victory as the visitors stunned a 6,300 crowd at the Arena with a stunning 4-0 opening period.
Steelers had an early powerplay when Mark Garside sat 2 minutes out for hooking – as the Giants came back to full strength no-one at the arena could have foreseen what was to unfold in front of them for the remainder of the period.
Four unanswered goals for the visitors all but wrapped the game up after 20 minutes.
First Chris Higgins at 5.38 after the Steelers failed to clear their zone. It was the sign of what was to come as individual errors cost the Steelers march on a third straight title.
On the power-play the Giants doubled their lead at 8.27 when Quesnele finished off a nice move.
12.51 it was 3-0, this time David Rutherford the scorer.
Before the end of the period Rutherford scored his second in the 18th minute for a 4-0 first period.
Rather than coming out with a bang in the second period the Steelers fell further behind in the middle session, Riley making it 5-0 at 30.59
Steelers did get on the scoreboard at 35.06 when the new first line of Fretter, Valdix and Roy combined. Second period ended 1-5.
With the game all but over the third period petered out with only Luke Ferrara’s consolation goal in the final minute to report.
So the Steelers have to re-group and come back to the arena on Sunday for their second game against the Giants on Sunday.
Final score on Saturday: Steelers 2-5 Belfast Giants.