Mikko Juusola was named Man of the Match tonight as the Steelers headed back to Sheffield with the two points on offer after running away with the contest against the Guildford Flames in the third period. Four goals were added in the final twenty minutes as the teams were tied at two goals apiece after two periods.
The two points sees the Steelers remain top of the Elite League table with the Cardiff Devils in hot pursuit, trailing by two points.
After defeat to the Glasgow Clan last Sunday night, ending the Steelers lengthy 10-game winning run, we were back in Elite League action tonight, on the road against the Guildford Flames who overcame the Cardiff Devils in a 12 goal thriller last night. This would be the only game of the weekend for the Steelers as the Nottingham Panthers made the decision to withdraw from Challenge Cup. We wish the entire organisation from Nottingham all the best as they find their way back into competitive action themselves tonight against the Belfast Giants.
Earlier in the week it was announced that Kameron Kielly had decided to make his way back to North America after limited opportunity with the Steelers as he struggled to cement a place in a squad that finds itself at the top of the Elite League table. Thank you again to Kameron for all his efforts with the club. Niklas Nevalainen was also sidelined tonight through injury which meant Anthony Morrone was able to back-up starting netminder, Matt Greenfield with Cole Shudra dropping back onto defence to partner Sam Jones.
After the loss to the Clan, the Steelers would have been looking to return to winning ways and add two points to their tally of 16 from 10 games and keep themselves at the head of the pack.
First Period (0-1)
The Steelers left it late in the period to find theirs and the opening goal of the contest as Captain, Robert Dowd’s one-timer from around the left-wing face-off circle was way too hot to handle for Flames netminder, Eamon McAdam.
McAdam up to that point had been in no mood to let the Steelers in, turning away the other 13 shots the Steelers put on his goal as the Steelers out-shot the Flames by 14 to 9 on-target.
Greenfield was once again at his very best when required, down quick to a McParland effort as the Steelers turned the puck over in their own zone as the puck fell kindly to gift the opportunity to the Flames number 19.
The game also had a bit of heat from the physicality as Ferguson put in big hits on both Juusola and Neumann which drew the attention of Josh Nicholls who made his thoughts known.
The Steelers goal coming at (19.40) in the period with Dominic Cormier picking up another assist to add to his Steelers points tally.
Second Period (2-2)
It was left late in the period again for action and goals as the Steelers went two up before the Flames came back to tie the game to head into the final twenty minutes of regulation.
McAdam continuing the frustrate the Steelers throughout the period, getting his angles spot on as chance after chance ended up in his chest.
It was Patrick Watling, rotating on the fourth line with Whistle and Simpson who got the Steelers their second goal at (36.50). Simpson found Watling at the slot who toe dragged and beat McAdam top shelf above his blocker.
38 seconds later at (37.28) and the Flames were back within one goal as Tait put away his own chance top-shelf on Greenfield, this time above the glove as he went across Greenfield with a nice finish.
The Flames were then back level just over a minute later at (38.43) as Greenfield’s error behind his own goal saw him pass the puck straight to McParland who accepted the gift and sent the puck home into an empty net.
A disaster of a final few minutes for the Steelers means they had it all to do again in the third as the teams headed in level.
Third Period (2-6)
The Flames may have finished the second period on top, but it was all Steelers in the third as they added four goals to bring the two points on offer back to Sheffield.
The third coming at (45.29) as Shudra’s effort from just inside the blue line rang off McAdam’s post and landed at the feet of Juusola who accepted the gift and fired the puck home into the empty net. Josh Nicholls picking up the second assist.
Four for the Steelers just over a minute later at (46.50) as Juusola turned provider to Mark Simpson who made no mistake from around the right wing hashmarks to restore the Steelers two goal lead they held earlier in the contest.
It was 55 minutes before the Steelers got their first chance on the powerplay, but it took them only 39 seconds on a Crocock interference penalty to make it count at (55.40) as Tansey used his strength at the blue paint to battle and send the loose puck into the back of McAdam’s goal.
Bang, bang again for the Steelers as they were six to the good 14 seconds later at (55.54) . This time, Scott Allen from close range to beat McAdam five-hole and give the Steelers a big lead to see out the game for the final four minutes, which they did with relative ease.
Awards & Table
After McParland was awarded with the Flames Man of the Match award, one goal and one assist for Mikko Juusola was enough for him to be awarded the Steelers Man of the Match as he now has 7 goals and 3 assists from 11 games played.
The two points tonight keeps the Steelers firmly at the top of the table with the Cardiff Devils in hot pursuit, only two points behind.
Up next is a trip back to our old sister-venue, Ice Sheffield to take on the Manchester Storm on Wednesday night. 7.30pm face off – see you there!
📸 John Uwins