An utterly dominant performance from puck drop once again for the Steelers saw them rout potential Challenge Cup final opponents, the Glasgow Clan by nine goals to three to maintain their 16 point lead at the top of the Elite League table.
A brace from each of Scott Allen, Marco Vallerand and Daniel Ciampini was added to by Patrick Harper’s first goal for the club along with Mitchell Balmas and Robert Dowd putting nine goals past the joint netminding duo of Karjalainen and Kielly.
As the other end, Matt Greenfield put in another solid performance with another 90+% save percentage.
First Period (4-0)
An utterly action packed twenty minutes took place to set the pace in the first period with the Steelers finding the back of the Clan goal on four separate occasions and 24 penalty minutes being handed out between the teams.
The scorekeepers were kept busy from the start with the Steelers finding the opening goal with only 43 seconds on the clock as Allen fired over Antti Karjalainen’s blocker from the slot. No official assist but credit to be given to Ciampini who took his man well and screened the Clan netminder.
In what is a common theme for the Steelers this season, the relentless nature of their work was just too much to handle for the Clan and resulted in the Clan changing their netminder in the sixth minute with the Steelers having added a further two to their goal tally.
The second goal timed at (4.03), a second of the night already for Scott Allen who toe-dragged around his man and fired over a weak Sol defensive stick and past Karjalainen once again.
Three up at (6.35) and a first Steelers goal for new man Patrick Harper who used his speed down the left wing and cut across Karjalainen to finish nicely at his back post.
A netminder change back to last night’s first choice Kielly was followed with gloves being dropped between Sam Jones and Luke Lynch after Jones laid a huge hit on Charlie Combes as he outstretched his stick and Jones making contact with the head. However, the Steelers would find themselves on the powerplay as the instigator call was made on Lynch.
With two more minutes handed out to Jake Bolton for hooking in the 10th minute, the Steelers got their fourth at (11.07) on the powerplay as Balmas repeated Allen’s earlier effort toe-dragging around his man and going bar down on Kielly.
Teams then swapped a range of penalties in the remaining minutes of the first period as the Steelers skated into the second period with a four goal lead.
Second Period (6-0)
Forty three seconds to find the opening goal in the first but only nineteen seconds required in the second period as Marco Vallerand got himself a powerplay goal on the carry over advantage. Brilliant slick passing by the entire powerplay unit with all members getting a touch before Vallerand finished the move perfectly.
With the Clan managing to kill off the next penalty, being Harrison for hooking, the Steelers were up by six shortly into the second half of the period at (31.57) as Vallerand picked up his second of the period and contest. Another brilliant finish by Vallerand as he went ting off both posts with pin point accuracy giving Kielly no chance.
The Steelers were required to kill off another penalty later in the period as Ciampini was sent to the box for a holding penalty on Cody Sol but they did just that and headed into the third period with a six goal advantage.
Third Period (9-3)
An even third period with both team scoring three goals apiece seeing the Steelers take the contest with the six goal advantage gained over the first two periods.
Steelers have made a habit of sharing out the scoring over the course of the season, but tonight it was three separate players who ended with two goals to their name.
With Allen and Vallerand scoring two each earlier in the contest, it was Daniel Ciampini who picked up two of his own in the 42nd and 50th minutes. The first timed at (41.42) via a short-handed effort after Watling was called for slashing. Ciampini relentless on the play to lift the stick near the Clan blue line and backhanded it up and over Kielly.
His next then timed at (50.52) as the stretch pass from Kevin Tansey was picked up by Ciampini around the Clan blue line to send him in all alone on Kielly. Backhand forehand and Kielly was nowhere to be seen as Ciampini slid it home.
Ninth and final goal for the Steelers then coming from Captain, Robert Dowd at (55.51) who finished off a great feed across the zone from Balmas and Dowd with a brilliant tip over the blocker of Kielly.
Clans goals coming in the 42nd (Craighead), 56th (Reddick) and 57th (Lynch). The goals resulting in Greenfield saving 34 out of his 37 shots faced for another impressive 91.89% save percentage.
Awards & Table
Ex-Clan player, Zach Vinell was awarded the Steelers Man of the Match award after doing well to keep his cool all night being targeted on several occasions by his ex-teammates and ‘dusted’ off the Eddy very well.
With another two points on the board, the Steelers now sit on 59 points from their 33 games played and keep hold of their 16 point lead at the top of the table as the Devils overcame the Giants in their contest this evening.
No midweek game for the Steelers this week as they return to action next Saturday night as the Manchester Storm are in town for a 7pm face-off – see you then