Sheffield Steelers secured qualification to the next round of the Challenge Cup after an 8-2 win against Manchester Storm at the FlyDSA Arena.
Nikolai Lemtyugov would supply the perfect trick on Halloween night to send home over 7,000 fans with a treat to remember.
Needing a regulation win to confirm a top-two spot in the group, Aaron Fox was missing forward Marco Vallerand but welcomed back defenceman Mikko Kuukka into the line-up.
A bumper crowd was treated to a fast-paced start to the game with both sides creating early chances although nothing but zeros showed on the scoreboard.
Off the back of celebrating his 1,000th Elite League game, captain Jonathan Phillips opened the scoring springing the arena to their feet. Steelers lead 1-0 and deservedly so. (12:14)
It was the only goal of the opening period, in one where the Steelers dominated from start to finish, with missed chances again the story of the twenty minutes.
The second period started well for the Steelers with Layne Ulmer off for slashing, a power-play goal from Nikolai Lemtyugov extended the lead to two goals (22:25)
A third goal for the Steelers was only three minutes away and for what was to be a spooky night in Sheffield, there was certainly nothing scary about the Steelers performance.
At 25:23 Michael Davies was in the right spot to finish off a play that was certainly worthy of three stars on its own. And less than a minute later it was four-nil.
Attention to detail from Brendan Connolly found John Armstrong all alone at the back door to rifle his shot past Ginn. (26:21)
With the whole arena loud and on their feet already, the volume was cranked up just a little more when things got ugly inside the Steelers’ goal crease.
A coming together between Storm player Mathieu Gagnon and Steelers Michael Davies would see both players ejected from the game and heated words exchanged between the two benches.
Gagnon took exception to the incident and proceeded to throw his helmet in the direction of the benches as he left the ice.
This would not kill the Steelers momentum and despite being a man down, the boys pushed for more.
At last a monkey off the back of Anthony DeLuca and how well deserved too. A power-play goal, accurately assisted by Marek Troncinsky and Brendan Connolly.
The wheels did not stop turning then and despite a quiet start to period 3, a drop of Russian magic from Nikolai Lemtyugov would ignite the arena once more.
Collecting the puck in centre ice after good work from Robert Dowd, Lemty skated round what seemed like the whole Storm team before a postage stamp finish past the goalie to make it 6-0 (47:43)
Would we see a shutout for Tomas Duba someone murmured, then the Storm scored to make it 6-1. The commentators curse strikes again. (49:29)
A second Storm goal followed not long after at 52:24 with Tyson Fawcett finishing nicely past Duba.
With just under two minutes to go, Lemty would complete his hat trick, one consisting of three high-quality goals and to the electric noise of the support, Nikolai delivered in his MOTM Eddy lap.
The scoring was not finished here and fresh from his hat trick for the Sheffield Steeldogs the previous weekend, Kieran Brown would find the back of the net after a generous assist from Cole Shudra.
An 8-2 scoreline and more than value for money on another £5 ticket night in Sheffield.
Final score: Steelers 8-2 Storm
Jonathan Phillips (Eberle, Meland) 12:14
Nikolai Lemtyugov (Brocklehurst, O’Connor) 22:25 PPG
Michael Davies (Meland, Sandström) 25:23
John Armstrong (Connolly) 26:21
Anthony DeLuca (Troncinsky, Connolly) 38:10 PPG
Nikolai Lemtyugov 47:43
Nikolai Lemtyugov (Dowd, O’Connor) 58:25
Kieran Brown (Shudra, Bettauer) 59:44