Steelers 10 points clear of the Devils
Steelers lead the EIHL by 10 points after a 5-1 road win in Cardiff on Wednesday night.
Marco Vallerand led the way with two first period power-play goals after the Devils had taken a 1-0 lead after just 36 seconds. That was the only time the push passed Matt Greenfield all night.
Matt Greenfield was back behind the pipes for this one, Zach Vinnell was scratched as Josh Nicholls returned to the line up
00.36 and Devils open the scoring on their first attack, Cox and the returning Joey Martin assisting on Crawfords goal
Steelers took control from that moment in the opening period, Nikki fired a rocket that Bowns kicked away, this was followed by a huge shift from the Watling line that had the Devils pinned in their own end with a relentless fore-check
Mark Simpson went close and Kevin Tansey closer still as he followed up.
07.37 and the pressure told as Joey Martin was called for hooking
Steelers quickly on the board (08.30) as Saucerman and Balmas combined to set up Marco Vallerand who fired home to tie the game 1-1
Joey Martin set up Cole Sanford but Greenfield denied – then Josh Batch joined the rush and forced another save of the Steelers goalie
13.50 and Vallerand called for interference – Steelers killed with energy and focus with the Devils creating little on the one man advantage.
Their best chance came from Evan Mosey whose shot was deflected over the glass.
Captain Mark Richardson’s shot was deflected and Greenfield made a great reaction save
17.37 and Josh Waller with a late hit on Scott Allen, his penalty gave the Steelers their second PP of the night and they didn’t disappoint.
Once again, Saucerman and Balmas assisting and a great finish from Vallerand
The Devils came out strong and looked to take the game to the Steelers early on
Waller fired over the cross bar, Mosey also went close whilst at the other end Juusola fired down the throat of Ben Bowns.
22.53 and Steelers lead 3-1
Goal Mitchell Balmas with Vallerand this time assisting
Crawford though he had one back fro the Devils but Greenfield with an incredible stop
Diffley with a great play breaking up a Devils offensive charge, at the other end Balmas close after being gifted a chance from close range.
Ben Davies crashed the net as the Devils started to play desperate to get back into the game
Dowd with a quick released forced a save from Bowns but then the Steelers captain was called for tripping
Devils failed on their 3rd Powerplay of the night. In fact Steelers went closest when Neumann fed Allen for another big chance
31.56 and Devils thought they had scored only for referee Dean Smith to rule a high stick on Crandall – No goal
34.14 and Juusola credited this time with the Steelers 4th as he tipped home (Nicholls and Watling)
35.01 and could this be the game as Scott Allen made it 5-1 (Simpson) with quick hands and a tight finish from close range
36.28 and Brandt try to get things going but Balmas having none of it and the Devil ends up in the penalty box
37.45 Patrick Watling called for tripping (On Joey Martin) Tome for 4 on 4 play
Both teams back to full strength and a end of period score of Devils 1-5 Steeler
No further goals in the final period but the damage had already been done by the Steelers in the opening 40 minutes.
There were chances to both sides and the Devils did push back in the last 20 though the Steelers always looked in control.
Final score: Cardiff Devils 1-5 Steelers
Steelers will remain in Cardiff overnight before travelling to Glasgow on Thursday ahead of Friday’s road game against the Clan
Then on Saturday the Steelers return home to the Arena for the near sell out game against Glasgow Clan (all tickets £8)