First Leg Advantage For Steelers After Goal Fest – Steelers 9:4 Flyers

Game Summary

Advantage Steelers after the first leg as they put nine past Shane Owen and took a five goal lead into the second leg on Sunday night.

A brace for both Mitchel Balmas and Cole Shudra set the tone with Shudra also picking up an assist as Jones, Whistle, Juusola, Vallerand and Neumann fired home to finish off the home season with a great victory giving them a great chance of reaching the Play Off final weekend in Nottingham.

First Period [1-1]

It was all Mitchell Balmas in the first five minutes of the contest, challenging Fife netminder, Shane Owen on four separate occasions within the first five minutes. That was after a top double save by Steelers netminder, Matthew Greenfield on the first shift who was quick to get down across to a tip from close range to deny with the left pad.

However, it was the fifth effort of Balmas which put the Steelers ahead at (10.40) after previously being denied with a tip and quick swivel shot from close range of his own. Great feed from defenceman Niklas Nevalainen allowing Balmas time to pick his spot with the wrister and beat Owen low. Sam Jones credited with the secondary assist.

Greenfield then being called upon again to this time deny Kyle Osterberg and Troy Lajeuneese on the same shift with back to back tips, again moving across the crease with speed to keep the Steelers ahead.

The Steelers then looked like they were ready to double the lead when Colton Saucerman snapped a wrister towards Owen’s goal, only to be deflected up and just as it looked to be heading over and in, Owen stretched out the catcher to just get enough leather on it and send it over the bar.

That save seemed to send a bounce through his team and the Flyers started to put the pressure on the Steelers with that telling at (17.14) when they got themselves back level. Troy Lajeuneese with the finish. Not the cleanest of shots which looked to help the Fife forward as it had just enough to beat Greenfield under the arm.

Drake Pilon and Cole Shudra then having words after the Fife man left the stick in on Greenfield before Balmas’ final effort of the period pinged off the pipework to leave the teams all level after twenty minutes.

Second Period [5-2]

Goal fest in the second with the buzzer being lit on five separate occasions. Good news for the Steelers being on the right end on four of those occasions as Cole Shudra also picked up three points in the period.

The first of those at (22.58), picking up the puck at the blue line behind the Fife defence and getting a quick shot away on Owen which looked to take him by surprise and the puck was through five-hole before he had time to get down on top of it.

It was bang, bang for the Steelers and two to the good shortly afterwards at (24.18) as Mitchel Balmas continued to cause problems on every shift, this time accepting the feed from Patrick Watling and once again finishing with the one-timer.

The Flyers kept coming to their credit and pulled the game back to within one at (29.33). Some offensive zone pressure paying dividends as the Steelers were unable to clear and the pick landing in slot with Max Humitz who put in a great finish top corner above Greenfield’s shoulder.

It was then all Steelers for the final 10 minutes with the fourth goal timed at (31.04). Josh Nicholls with some great work behind the Flyers goal, twisting and turning to spot Cole Shudra entering the zone and finding his man perfectly from behind the red line and Shudra fired home to pick up his second goal in just under ten minutes. Finlay Ulrick with the secondary assist.

Add an assist to that tally for Cole Shudra at (34.57) but credit off the puck on this one to Finlay Ulrick who’s relentless forecheck and battle to get to crease resulted in a Flyers defencemen sending him into Shane Owen and him tumbling to the ice, leaving an open net for Sam Jones to fire the puck home and put the Steelers up by three heading into the third and final period.

Third Period [9-4]

Five goals in the second and another six in the third as the Steelers finished the first leg to take a five goal advantage heading into the second leg on Sunday night.

Four more goals for the Steelers from four different scorers.

The sixth coming from Brandon Whistle at (41.42) lifting one up into the net above Owen’s shoulder before Mikko Juusola swept one around Owen who was unable to get the glove over the loose puck at (42.55).

The Flyers fighting to keep themselves in the contest as Max Humitz then picked up his second of the night at (48.17) going bar down on Greenfield as the puck landed just the wrong side of the goal line for the Steelers.

Marco Vallerand then getting himself in on the action with a nice finish low on Owen from the high slot at (50.36) before the Flyers picked up their final goal of the contest at (57.20) as Greenfield collided with Cormier on a broken play and left the net open for Colin Shirley fired home into the empty net.

The Steelers weren’t done there though as 27 seconds later the Steelers reinstated their five goal lead thanks to Brett Neumann with another great snipe from the high slot as Own was beaten for a ninth time in sixty minutes.