The Steelers gave absolutely everything tonight to finish a hectic five games in eight days with another victory over the Glasgow Clan to keep hold of their twelve point advantage at the top of the Elite League.
A ruthless start from the Steelers saw them three goals up inside of seven minutes before controlling the remainder of the game. Patrick Watling got the Steelers off to the best start in the second minute before Saucerman and Nicholls scored within 19 seconds of each other to put the Clan on the backfoot right from the start.
The Clan did find a goal of their own later in the first period before getting the game back to within one with only 14 seconds left on the clock before the Steelers ran out the last few seconds to take back to back victories against the Clan.
The Steelers were looking to make it eleven wins in a row tonight as they took on the Glasgow Clan in a reverse fixture after coming out victorious at the Breahead Arena by six goals to three last night.
Aaron Fox made only one change to the line-up which took the two points last night as Morrone replaced Greenfield between the pipes. The Steelers await the return of injured players Brett Neumann, Brandon Whistle and Sam Jones.
A win tonight would also see the Steelers continue to lead the league by at least twelve points subject to other results around the league.
Pre-game was also a chance to celebrate Robert Dowd becoming the clubs all time second top goal scorer as he surpassed Ron Shudra’s 329 and starts to chase down the club all time record held by Steve Nemeth.
First Period (3-1)
An all action first period ensued as the Steelers were up by three goals inside of the first seven minutes before the Clan hit back with a goal of their own, then followed by an ejection of Steelers defencemen and ex-Clan player Zach Vinnell for spearing.
The Steelers continued to be ruthless going forwards and were on the scoreboard early at (1.24) as Nicholls took the puck over the blue line down the right wing and laid the puck across Jake Kielly’s goal to find the tape of Patrick Watling who finished with a perfect tip into the net. Secondary assist to Brien Diffley.
(6.24) and the Steelers were two to the good as Saucerman picked up a great saucer pass from Vallerand around the Clan blue line, skated in all alone and rocketed his effort up into the top of Kielly’s goal with Vallerand and Balmas being credited the assists.
Bang Bang for the Steelers with their third coming only 19 seconds later at (6.43) thanks to Josh Nicholls with another quality finish at the back post of Kielly after getting on to the end of a perfect pass from Watling. Nicholls and Watling both quickly to 1+1 on the night, with Juusola getting the secondary assist.
Clan coach Jason Morgan had seen enough and called his teams timeout to try and put some life back into their opening effort. The talk seemed to do his job as the Clan started to find their feet although the Steelers continued to look dangerous going forward with speed.
Props however to the Clan who did come back and got themselves on the scoreboard at (15.23) through Gary Haden with a nice finish being lifted over Morrone as he got himself in behind the Steelers defences and latched onto the nice pass from Charlie Combs.
Confusion then ensued around the Steelers bench as Zach Vinnell was called for spearing and was sent for a very early shower as he was ejected from the ice with a 5+ game. However, the Clan took no advantage giving up two minor penalties on the major as the Steelers took the two goal lead into the second period.
Second Period (3-1)
Lots of action but a goal lacking period as the scoreline remained the same heading into the final period of regulation.
Plenty of chances going begging for both sides on the powerplay as both teams took three penalties each. The best chance coming for the Glasgow Clan towards the end of the period as two of the Steelers penalties coincided giving the Clan a five on three powerplay, but the Steelers penalty killers worked hard to help out Morrone who pulled off a few spectacular saves throughout the second twenty.
The Steelers continuing to outshoot the Clan with 22 on the target of Kielly’s goal compared to the 13 on Morrone’s goal. The Steelers would have been looked to take further advantage in the third and push for a fourth and beyond.
Third Period (3-2)
Ruthlessness from the Steelers turned into true heart, grit and determination to take another two points in the third as every player gave everything to get through the final period of five games in eight days.
They did everything required of them to keep grade-A chances away from Morrone’s net who was also stellar once again.
It would however be a tense last few seconds for the Steelers as the Clan, with Kielly pulled, managed to pull the game back to within one goal with a scramble around the crease of Morrone’s in which Charlie Combe’s stuffed it home with only 14 seconds left to play.
One final shift for the Steelers as they took control of the puck to see out the final few seconds and seal another two points to keep their win streak alive.
Awards & Table
Glasgow Clan’s goal scorer Gary Haden picked up the visitors Man of the Match award before Anothony Morrone was awarded the Steelers Eddy with a great performance racking up 16 saves from his 18 faced. A first Eddy for Morrone who went to centre ice for a bit of whack-a-mole on his teammates.
Another two points for the Steelers gives them 45 points from their 25 games played and keeps them 12 points clear of their closest rivals, the Cardiff Devils who also came out victorious tonight.
It was also a huge win off the ice again tonight, as combined with the rolled over money from last game, the winner of the 50/50 tonight took home a whopping British record. Wow Sheffield and a huge congratulations to the winner, Hannah!
The guys now have a well earned rest with no mid-week games as we travel to Manchester next Saturday to take on the Manchester Storm before returning home on Sunday nigh to take on the visiting Dundee Stars. 4pm face-off for this one – see you there!