Steelers Rebound To Split Weekend – Steelers 6:1 Giants

Game Summary

After defeat last night, the Steelers needed a reaction to keep flying at the top of the table and the packed out crowd in Sheffield got just that from their team. This team has made a habit of never losing twice in a row and gave themselves the best possible chance of keeping that record alive finding the back of the net on four separate occasions in the first twenty minutes.

With the damage then done, the game subdued until the final five minutes when the Steelers were able to add two further goals. A beautiful back-handed finish from Scott Allen and a powerplay classic from Marco Vallerand helping the Steelers regain an eleven point lead at the top of the Elite League table and reduce the magic number down to 10 points required to clinch the Elite League trophy.

First Period [4-1]

The first of those four efforts coming with only (0.28) on the board as Scott Allen jumped onto the puck at the hashmarks in the Giants zone, held the puck around his man sliding across the ice with a last ditch attempt and laid the puck off for Ciampini who made no mistake lifting it over the blocker of a scrambling Beskorowany.

Thirty-seven seconds later at (1.05) as the Steelers doubled their lead. Brett Neumann jumping onto a loose puck just inside the Giants blue line and finding Mitchell Balmas in the slot with all the time in the world to pick his spot and rip it top shelf over Beskorowany’s catcher. Giants’ coach Adam Keefe having seen enough to call his team back to the benches for a very early timeout.

It did little for the Giants however as the shot count read 9-0 in favour of the Steelers by the fifth minute with both teams swapping penalties around that point with Roach being called for elbowing and Dowd for high-sticking with both killed off despite a one on one effort for Mikko Juusola which Beskorowany got his pad down to well.

After a hit on Sam Jones a bit behind the play by Jacob Friend, Scott Allen took his opportunity to return the favour shortly afterwards at the player’s bench. What looked like a good hit on the play was however deemed charging by the officials which let the Giants in with a goal of their own at (11.03). Simpson shortly before being denied on a breakaway one on one before McLeod went straight down the other end himself one and one and found the gap to beat Greenfield.

But the Steelers were relentless throughout the first twenty, never letting their feet stop moving and hit straight back at (12.41) through Captain, Robert Dowd. Dominic Cormier sending the puck in from the left wing with Beskorowany unable to deal with a deflection towards his goal and Dowd reacted quickest to poke the puck home before the Giants’ goalie was able to freeze the puck.

Biggest hit of the period then took place on Marco Vallerand at the players benches with the Steelers keeping their composure not to react and let the visitors back in. That composure was rewarded with a powerplay late in the period with Josh Roach clearly tripping Ciampini at the half-boards.

With a Giants’ stick broken from the resulting face-off and a further Giant’s player losing their helmet, the Steelers had all the time and space needed to feed Mitchell Balmas at the back post for one of his easiest finishes of the season at (18.58).

An action packed first period which the Steelers couldn’t be happier with heading into the second twenty leading the shot count by a comprehensive 19 to 4.

Second Period [4-1]

A much more even period in the second twenty as both teams had chances throughout the period, however neither team were able to add to the goal tally from the first period.

The Steelers best opportunity coming from a long five on three powerplay as Josh Roach and Will Cullen were called for roughing and delay of the game respectively within ten seconds of each other. The Steelers looked to get the puck moving around the zone but were unable to find that the final pass to get Beskorowany moving across his crease, resorting to one-timers which couldn’t get through the traffic. Other opportunities also arising for Diffley who was unable to take a puck behind him on a two on one breakaway and Whistle at the back post with acres of space, but unable to pick the gap on Beskorowany.

The Giants certainly closing the gap on the Steelers in terms of shots on goal, having the better of the second period by 13 to 8 although the Steelers would have been very happy with the face-off stats, leading by 25 to 17 which troubled them last night with Mark Simpson having particular success at the face-off dot.

The Steelers would start the third period a man down as Sam Jones was called late in the period for sending the puck straight out of play from his defensive zone.

Third Period [6-1]

With all the damage done in the first period it looked like it was going to be a pretty uneventful third as the Steelers would have had one eye on the Challenge Cup final on Wednesday night. For the first fifteen minutes of the period that range true as both teams looked to be going through the motions a little with the Giants also killing off two minor infractions.

However, the Steelers kept going and were rewarded with two further goals by the end of the game. And what a finish for the fifth by Scott Allen at (55.01) as Ciampini found his man close to the blue paint and with Allen’s back to Beskorowany he backhanded his effort through his own legs and under the netminder.

No description needed for the sixth at (55.54). Davey Phillips in the box for delaying the game and Marco Vallerand with utter perfection from around the hashmarks seen so many times at the Utilita Arena into the roof of the net.

A great nights work for the Steelers once again rebounding from defeat to split the double header weekend with the Giants.

Awards & League Table

Belfast Giants’ goalscorer Matt Mcleod presented with the Man of the Match award for the visitors, but it was two goals and an assist for Mitchell Balmas who was presented with the Steelers award. A great selfie at centre ice too to remember the occasion for the Eddy.

Now level on games with the Cardiff Devils, the Steelers now regain an eleven point lead at the top of the Elite League table with the magic number now being 10 points needed to clinch the Championship!

Up Next

What a game we have up next…! A Challenge Cup final on home ice this coming Wednesday as we take on the Guildford Flames. No tickets left for this one but you can watch on ViaPlay. 7.30pm face-off – See you there…!