A Saturday night home game watching the Sheffield Steelers just can’t be matched. It has been great to have family home for the previous two Sundays, but nothing beats a Saturday night at home does it?
Well tonight, we welcomed the Manchester Storm to Sheffield in a return Challenge Cup affair, after taking victory in Altringham the previous Saturday. Ryan Finnerty’s men would have been wanting to impose themselves on the game quickly after conceding 8 goals last week.
Early news was that Aaron Fox had a complete roster available to him which meant that Barry Brust got his first start for the Sheffield Steelers and fans were certainly looking forward to seeing him between the pipes.
The Premier Sports starting six announced as:
#33 Barry Brust
#47 Andrian Saxrud Danielsen
#5 Daine Todd
#62 Martin Latal
#19 Travis Oleksuk
#90 John Armstrong
Before the game got underway, we got to celebrate our own Golden Child’s 600th game for the club which was commemorated with a special shirt for the occasion. What an achievement for Robert Dowd – here’s to many more!
Puck dropped at 7pm and it wasn’t long until Linden Springer was into his work, by finding himself in the penalty box at 3.54, but the penalty was killed by the Storm.
Barry Brust then came up big in his first action with not one, not two, but three saves in a row showing no rust after 18 months away from game action.
A couple of penalties were then swapped between the teams at 8.57 and 9.35, both being killed off with little problem.
Neither team managed too many opportunities for the rest of the period with the Storm killing off one further penalty at 13.29, but we went into the 1st period break goalless at 0-0.
Both teams were clearly fired up from their period break team talks and what ensued was possibly the most entertaining period of the season so far.
The period started in the Steelers favour with the man that never stops, Tanner Eberle finding his first goal of the night. Justin Hodgman down the left wing pulled a beautiful pass back to Eberle who had all the time in the world to rip one past Matt Ginn. The goal did however go under review for a potential infringement on Ginn but the goal was ultimately allowed. Goal timed at 25.04, assisted by Hodgman.
Marco Vallerand was the next man on the scoresheet at 28.00 when he went in on Ginn unassisted and popped it in low glove side on the Storm netminder. Steelers leading 2-0.
The Storm got on the board next via the impressive Finlay Ulrick who was the pick of the Storm players all night. Brust got a big chunk of the puck but it snuck in low on Barry’s right pad. Goal timed at 32.39, assisted by Liam Morgan and Cameron Critchlow.
After the Storm saw off a penalty against McNulty at 34.06, what ensued next certainly gave the Steelers the upper hand for the remainder of the game.
After Latal used his speed down the left wing and headed to the back of the Storm goal, he placed the puck back in front only for Springer to interfere with play way after the puck had dissapeared resulting in a nasty hip-check towards Latal’s knee who was slow to get back up. Up stepped Captain Phillips to tangle with Springer and pick up his own 2 minute roughing penalty. However, Springer was ejected from the game for the interference, picking up a 2 minute roughing penalty, along with a 5 plus game penalty seeing him head for an early shower. Penalties timed at 36.27.
Things were to only get worse for the Storm at 36.55 when Ehrhardt took a further cross-checking penalty leaving the Storm 5 on 3.
The Steelers took advantage at 38.28 when Tanner Eberle netted his second of the night. A second assist of the night for Justin Hodgman with a pass from down low and Eberle scored with the slapshot. Steelers 4-1 which is how we went into the period break.
A change of netminder ensued for the Steelers at the start of the 3rd with Churchfield replacing the impressive Brust who made a wonderful start to his Steelers career stopping 19 of 20 shots faced.
The Steelers quickly looked to put the game to bed and did just that at 41.20 through Travis Oleksuk. The Steelers, having coughed up the puck which was saved by Churchfield then found Mosey with the puck who raced down the ice and played a great pass for Oleksuk who scored on the remaining Powerplay time. 3rd assist of the night for Justin Hodgman. Steelers 5-1.
You would forgive the boys in orange for then taking their foot of the gas, potentially with one eye on the League game in Coventry tomorrow night.
Although comfortable throughout with Churchfield making some good saves, the Storm did make the game a closer scoreline that the game actually seemed.
The Storm got their second at 55.05 through Ben Wilson on a delayed penalty when he slapped it high past Churchfield. Assisted by Jacob Lutwyche and Zach Sullivan. 5-2.
The final action came at 57.49 when the Storm found themselves on the Powerplay via a Daine Todd tripping call and made the game 5-3 with Dallas Ehrhardt getting on the scoresheet with a big blast from between the hash marks which beat Churchfield up high. Goal assisted by Curtis Hamilton and Cameron Critchlow.
The Steelers picking up another win in the Challenge Cup with Justin Hodgman celebrating his first MoTM for the Steelers with a fantastic Eddy.
On we go to the Skydome in Coventry tomorrow evening, back in league action with a tough test against a team taking all the points from Nottingham tonight. Premier Sports are in town tomorrow but we look forward to turning Coventry orange.