Exhibitions games over and done with as the Steelers got into the real stuff with a visit to Altringham to face the Manchester Storm in the Challenge Cup, looking to get their season off to a flyer.
The early news was that Barry Brust was not quite ready for his Steelers debut, so the Rok would continue between the pipes with Churchfield backing up the number 39.
Daine Todd was also still recovering from a niggle so would again sit this one out with Mosey continuing to play on D and Shudra stepping onto the 4th line.
The starting 6 announced as:
After both sets of fans gave their condolences to hockey family members we have lost through the pandemic, the puck dropped at 7pm and our Challenge Cup campaign was underway.
And what a start to the campaign it was with only 55 seconds on the clock as the Steelers found the back of the net through Tanner Eberle who skated down the left wing and beat Ginn at his near post. Goal assisted by Saxrud Danielsen and Dowd.
A couple of penalties were then swapped by the teams as both teams found themselves in the box for infringements and gave room on the ice as we skated 4 on 4. The Steelers making full use of the extra space as they netted their 2nd goal of the night courtesy of an Evan Mosey blast from the point. Goal timed at 8.53, assisted by Connolly and Jones.
It was then less than 4 minutes later at 12.17 when Mosey bagged his 2nd of the night making that 3 goals in two games for the versatile man playing on D tonight.
The Storm went on to kill a couple more penalties, but it was to be a great first period for the Steelers as they led 3 goal to 0 heading into the 1st period break.
The Storm had to rally, and rally they did when they found themselves on the scoreboard in the 2nd minute of the period at 21.20 through Tyson Fawcett who found himself on his own in from of Stojanovic and roofed it to bring the score within two.
The Storm killed the next high sticking penalty, but the Steelers stretched the lead back to three through Connolly at 27.01 with a big slapshot from the left hash marks which Ginn couldn’t keep out. Goal assisted by DeLuca and Saxrud Danielsen.
Ginn then came up big when Dowd found himself one on one who tried going right and over the pad but couldn’t quite find the Steelers 4th.
The Storm hit back again at 30.31 through their captain Dallas Ehrhardt beating the Steelers netminder and bringing the game to within 2 goals again.
That would do for the for the second period although the Steelers would start the third period on the penalty kill as Ellerby was called for charging with only 21 seconds left on the clock.
A mixed bag in the second with the Storm pulling one goal back, but Steelers still took a healthy 2 goal lead into the third period.
The Steelers started the third period well, firstly killing off the penalty, then at 42.09 DeLuca thought he had poked the puck home, but the officials disagreed and with a quick check on the monitors the goal was waived off and the score stuck at 2-4.
All hell broke loose at 47.49 in front of Ginn’s goal when Connolly was taken out after the whistle followed by Deluca and Vanwormer having a bit of a scrap which saw both of them land heavily on the ice. Connolly and DeLuca both found themselves in the box with 2 opposing Storm players, but the Steelers picked up the extra 2 which the Storm took quick advantage of at 48.32 when Ehrhardt netted his second of the night unassisted. The Steelers now only leading by the one goal.
The Steelers needed someone to step up, and who better than our great #10 Tanner Eberle who spun on the spot between both face off circles and fired low passed Ginn. Goal times at 49.38, assisted by Vallerand. 5-3 Steelers.
The start of the end came for the Storm at 54.59 when Springer and Sam Jones got into a tussle near the Steelers net which saw them both fall to the ice with Springer on top. Springer then continued to pummel Jones on the ice and was ejected from the game and resulted in the Steelers being on a 5 minute major penalty.
It was the bang, bang, bang for the Steelers as Vallerand netted his first of the night at 54.58, assisted by Schulze. 6-3 Steelers.
Next up was DeLuca at 57.36 who was found with a beautiful assist by Dowd at the back post and he made no mistake. 7-3 Steelers.
In the dying seconds, Robert Dowd finished proceedings at 59.50 when he found the back of the net, being assisted by Cole Shudra.
A great effort from the boys and in the end, a very comfortable win for the men in Orange.
We now move onto to our banner raising night in our own building and our second Challenge Cup encounter against the team we lifted the cup against, the Cardiff Devils.
See you there Sheffield, 4pm.