A Greenfield shutout, two goals from Josh Nicholls and one from Mitchell Balmas was enough for the Steelers to see off the Dundee Stars tonight by three goals to nil.
A feisty first period with two goals and two fights with a game ejection for the Stars was followed by a mundane second, but the Steelers showed their quality to add a third in the last twenty minutes to make it 8 points from 5 games in the league.
The Steelers headed back to the Utilita Arena this afternoon to take on the Dundee Stars in league action after once again netting six goals in their third Challenge Cup encounter, overcoming the Manchester Storm.
Although the Steelers started much brighter and were three goals to the good by the halfway stage, they let the Storm back in to the game who levelled the game early in the third period which required a late surge to come out with the win.
Coach Fox would have therefore been looking for a complete 60 minutes from his men with a chance to jump to the top of the league with victory over the Stars led by the returning Marc Lefebvre.
On team news, both Matt Greenfield and Scott Allen were called back into the squad in place of Morrone and Kielly with Whistle continuing to recover.
First Period (2-0)
The first period can only be described as all action after the Steelers netted on two separate occasions, combined with both Dowd and Saucerman dropping the gloves against the same counterpart on two separate occasions.
The first of the fights came at (8.18) as Steelers Captain, Robert Dowd threw the fists near the Steelers bench with the Stars #14 James Phelan and as normal, made light work of the altercation.
The Steelers first goal the came at (12.34) on the powerplay courtesy of Mitchell Balmas from his favourite position around the right wing haskmarks and finished his one-timer beautifully past Kevin Carr.
The lead was then doubled at (17.58), with another powerplay goal making it six goals from the last six powerplays. This time Josh Nicholls from a similar area to that of Balmas as he had all the time in the world to pick his spot and found nothing but net in the top corner of Carr’s net.
(19.53) and Phelan then had his gloves off again after elbowing Saucerman at centre ice. The players got themselves tied up in the clinch but Phelan was then sent for an early shower with a 2+5+game for elbows and fighting as the feisty encounter headed into the second twenty.
Second Period (2-0)
However, the second didn’t live up to the billing with a much more mundane twenty minutes with neither team able to create many quality chances. The physicality was still present from both teams, but most of the action took place from the neutral zone or from the outside in the offensive zones.
Colton Saucerman with the best chance of the period for the Steelers from around the right wing hashmarks as he sent his shot low, but just wide of Carr’s inside post as the Steelers continued to lead by two as they headed into the third period.
Third Period (3-0)
Much more action in the third period as the Steelers looked comfortable throughout, although the on-target shot count by the end only read 30 to 21 in favour of the Steelers.
The period started well with Carr having to pull off a quick glove save on Vallerand who spun in close on at the blue paint and got a quick shot away. Greenfield was then called on at the other end shortly afterwards as Valentini found himself in behind the Steelers defence all alone, but Greenfied’s pad was down to deny.
The teams then swapped penalties as Dow was called for cross-checking on Watling in the Dundee corner; Watling becoming frustrated with a number of late hits taken during the game, before Petgrave was given his own 2 minutes for interference.
The Steelers were then three goals up at (50.40) as Nicholls picked up his second goal of the night. Mitchell Balmas with the good work behind the Stars goal as he waited and waited on his man before finding Nicholls at the blue paint who sent the puck home.
Nicholls was then denied his hat-trick in the 57th minute with the save of the night from Kevin Carr who somehow got his paddle back to the line of the puck as Nicholls looked to have the full open net to aim for.
However, the Steelers saw out the final few minutes to record Greenfield his shut out and take the two points which sees the Steelers jump to the top of the Elite League table.
Kevin Carr was awarded with the Stars Man of the Match award as Josh Nicholls went on his first Eddy for the club as he was given the Steelers award and went for a bit of “Duck, Duck, Goose!”.
The two points tonight sees the Steelers sit at the top of the league table with 8 points from 5 games, equal with the Nottingham Panthers.
We are now on the road for the next two games as we head to Glasgow on Wednesday night to take on the Clan in league action, before a trip to Nottingham on Saturday night to take on the Panthers in Challenge Cup action. We are then back at home on Sunday as the Fife Flyers are in town for the first time this season for more league action. 4pm face-off – see you then!