Thursday night at the Motorpoint Arena saw your Sheffield Steelers take on the Manchester Storm in the 2nd leg of the #2021EliteLeague semi-finals.
The Steelers took a 1 goal advantage into the 2nd leg having beaten the storm 5-4 in the 1st leg, after the Storm fought back well towards the end on Tuesday night.
Kirk was announced as starting tonight, but unfortunately the news came out pre-game that he still wasn’t ready and would be replaced again by Pakozdi with Dowd stepping up onto the Mikyska and Eberle line.
Muse keeps his place between the pipes after recovering from injury earlier in the week. Tonight he was backed up by Ben Churchfield.
Your starting six therefore announced as:
Puckdrop at 7pm and the Steelers were relentless throughout the first period!
The men in orange have built a habbit throughout the #2021EliteSeries of scoring early goals and tonight was no different as Saxrud-Danielsen jumped on a loose puck after Eberle put in a good shot which was tipped away by Bonar. Saxrud-Danielsen made no mistake firing high above Bonar’s shoulder. Goal timed at 3.15, assisted by Eberle and Dowd.
The Steelers weren’t going to let the Storm settle and kept the pressure on, but it was the 9th minute before the Steelers got their next. Great work from Pakozdi down the left wing put the puck in on Bonar who rebounded and there was Alex Graham to pick up the loose puck and jam it past Bonar for his first goal of the series. Goal coming at 9.52 with assists from Pakozdi and Myers.
Bonar was then introduced to Captain Jono when he put on the afterburners to beat the Storm D-man with Bonar coming out aggressively to collide head on with Jono after a tripping call from the trailing d-man.
The Steelers made the Storm pay again with a powerplay goal through the hot stick of Tanner Eberle following a Mikyska shot from the blue line which Tanner tipped in with ease. Goal timed at 17.28 (PPG), assisted by Mikyska and Dowd. That line racking up the points again.
The steelers therefore took a commanding 3-0 lead and 4 goal advantage overall into the 2nd period.
The start of the 2nd period saw a change in netminder for the Manchester Storm as Murphy replaced Bonar between the Storm pipes.
As Olden sat in the penalty box, the change of netminder seemed to have had the desired effect when an early goal in the 2nd came for the Storm courtesy of Simmonds after a blast from the blue line was saved by Muse and the puck pinballed around before coming off a skate into the Steelers net. Goal at 22.36, a powerplay goal, assisted by Ehrhardt and Critchlow.
Top work from Connolly and Pakozdi who was having a great game then came about as Connolly came from behind the net to find Pakozdi infront but he couldn’t beat Murphy for his 2nd point of the night.
Olden then quickly made up for the penalty with a goal of his own at 27.16 as some good work behind the net pulled Murphy away from the net, and the puck fell nicely for Olden infront to put the puck into an empty goal. Goal assisted by J Phillips and Connolly.
No time to waste for the Steelers and the next goal came from the impressive Waller with some great stickwork in front of Bonar. Backhand, forehand, backhand and up over the pad to make it 5-1 and 10-5 overall to the men in orange. Goal timed at 31.11, assisted by Hrabal and J Phillips.
All hell then broke loose in the 35th minute when Muse covered up the puck but the Storm continued to hack and whack. The Steelers men on the ice jumping in quickly to defend their goalie with Muse not backing down either. 5 penalties were spread, with the Storm taking an extra 2 minutes when everything settled.
That was everything to write home about in the 2nd and the Steelers were in full control of this one as they took a 5 goal lead overall into the final period.
The Storm were the first to get on the board in the 3rd period after a relatively quiet first 8 minutes.
Dowd and Olden both in the box putting the Storm 5 on 3 and they took advantage with Fawcett finding the top corner well. Goal timed 48.31, assisted by Ehrhardt and Critchlow.
With the Steelers still on the penalty kill, Connolly and Eberle stepped up to take the game by the scruff of the neck with a brilliant shorthanded effort. Connolly down the right wing, across to Eberle and the pack post who slotted it home at 50.03. The only assist on this one to Connolly. 6-2 (11-6).
To give Storm credit, they didn’t stop coming and got another reward only 2 minutes later when Fawcett picked up his 2nd of the night at 52.00, assisted by Davies and Batch.
The Steelers weren’t going to risk this one getting close and put the game to bed completely with 2 quick goals.
The first coming from Olden on a powerplay goal effort from the left wing hash marks who beat Murphy high above his shoulder. Timed at 52.47, assisted by Schulze and S Jones.
The final goal of the night coming from Beaudry who went top cheddar from the blue line with a fantastic effort to finish the night.
The Steelers coming out victorious 8-3 on the night and taking the 2 legs 13-7 for a convincing 6 goal overall win!
The Steelers will now meat the Nottingham Panthers in a best of 3 final which starts on Saturday 1st May at 7pm – Stream packages are available at EliteLeague.tv – You won’t want to miss this!