A 4-1 victory over Belfast Giants on Sunday gave the Steelers a four-point weekend over two of the league’s challenging sides.
Following the Steelers 6-2 victory in Nottingham on Saturday, Aaron Fox opted to stick with the same lineup for the game against the Belfast Giants.
Belfast, who were in Manchester on Saturday came out the blocks fast as Tomas Duba was called upon early to hold off the visitors from taking the lead.
Brian Ward and Bobby Farnham led the line for Belfast as their hard forechecking game pressed the Steelers into a handful of giveaways.
Down the other end and Shane Owen in the Giants’ goal made a number of solid pad saves to deny both Marco Vallerand and Anthony DeLuca.
The deadlock was broken when Ward finally managed to squeeze the puck by Duba and just over the line (05:17.
It didn’t take the Steelers long to reply and DeLuca fired a one-timer by Owen to send the Fly DSA crowd to their feet (06:31)
Following the equaliser Sheffield began to apply more pressure on the forecheck and by doing so were rewarded with numerous chances to take the lead.
Lucas Sandstrom was the first to try as he dangled by the Giants defenceman but couldn’t quite work the puck over Owen’s pad.
Then it was the turn of Michael Davies to be denied as his shot was blocked on route to goal from a tight angle.
With the scores tied at one heading into the middle period, in what was a twenty minutes riddled with penalty calls, Sheffield enjoyed the better of the scoring chances.
There were chances again for Davies and Marek Troncinsky as the big Czech defenceman battled his way by the Giants defense and forced Owen into a quick blocker save.
DeLuca would light the lamp for the second time of the night at 32:49 as an inch-perfect breakout pass from Davies set DeLuca through on goal and he went five-hole by Owen to give the Steelers their first lead.
A huge 5-on-3 penalty kill brought the Steelers fans to their feet after Brocklehurst and Johnson were both sent to the box moments apart for infractions.
Plenty of words were exchanged between officials and the Steelers bench following the penalties in what was becoming a fast-paced and heated encounter.
It was a game that could have gone either way with a bounce of the puck and fortunately for those in orange it fell in their favour.
A Ben O’Connor one-timer from the blue line ricocheted off a skate of the Giants skater who was tracking Vallerand to the front of the goal and the puck caught both posts before going in (46:18).
As Belfast pressed their way back into the game, Duba was called upon to deny Kevin Raine and Ward on good opportunities, but nothing came of either chance.
Fresh from his goal in Nottingham on Saturday, Brendan Connolly was the last man to get his name on the scoresheet.
Marco Vallerand broke the play up in his own zone and sent Connolly through on Owen and his quick-fire wrist shot beat the goalie hight over his glove.
In what both coaches described as a great game of hockey given the physical nature of the play, whilst it wasn’t end-to-end in terms of scoring chances, the game itself was as hard-fought as the Steelers support will have seen.
Final score: Steelers 4-1 Giants