Steelers Have One Skate in the Semi Finals
Steelers scored five unanswered goals to take a 5-1 advantage into the 2nd leg of the Challenge Cup quarter final on the 20th December at the Arena.
Steelers one again had five different scorers as Robert Dowd, Scott Allen, Marco Vallerand, Patrick Watling and Brandon Whistle found the back of the net.
Anthony Morrone, starting in goal also had a solid game making several valuable saves.
Pre Game News …
Head coach Aaron Fox confirmed that Anthony Morrone will start tonight’s Challenge Cup quarter final against the Manchester Storm.
Sam Jones is out of the line up following his injury in Belfast and Cole Shudra will drop back on to defence in Jones absence.
Patrick Watling had the first Steelers shot just 20 seconds in, it was quickly followed up with a 2 on 1 breakaway and Brandon Whistle going close.
Against the run of play, the Manchester Storm opened the scoring after just 6.46
Michael Korol turned and shot from the top of the circle with the puck flying over the should of Anthony Morrone for a 1-0 scoreline.
Morrone then denied Stephen Johnson from close range with the Storm forward all alone in front of the Steelers goalie.
Storm power-play at 11.24 when Colton Saucerman was called for a delay of game (puck over the glass)
Scott Allen made a nice shorthanded pass to Brandon Whistle who once again went close with Weninger making the save
Steelers killed and moments later it was Brett Neumann who went close finding Weningers glove.
Will Merchant then took a slashing minor just 25 seconds from the period end, moments later after the offensive zone face off it was Robert Dowd who found the back of the net with just 1 second remaining in the period (19.59)
Steelers have taken control of the this game in the middle period scoring two goals without reply
22.27 and Steelers lead for the first time as Dowdy sets up Scott Allen from close range
Patrick Watling had a chance to extend the lead when he unleashed a huge bomb moments after Allen’s goal, Weninger in the Storm’s net making one of several excellent second period saves.
Cam Critchlow headed to the box at 23.53 for a high stick on Cole Shudra.
The Powerplay went straight to work with Marco Vallerand scoring from the point at 24.22 (Saucerman and Balmas assisting)
Steelers have dominated the majority of the remainder of the period with Watling, Saucerman and Neumann all going close.
Manchester have had a later power-play with Kevin Tansey sitting out 2 minutes for a high stick, they will have a further 85 seconds in the final period on the one man advantage.
Steelers killed the remainder of the Manchester Storm power-play
Stormer were back on the one man advantage at 44.16 when Brien Diffley was called for tripping – Storm again failed to convert on the PP
Patrick Watling had gone close so many times that soon rather than later he would score … and he did at 46.59 to make it 4-1 with Juusola assisting
With 9.07 remaining Steelers wrapped the game up when Brandon Whistle found himself all along in front of the Storm goal to complete the scoring (1-5) assisted Allen and Simpson.
Colton Saucerman went on to win the Steelers man of the match award
Final score: Manchester Storm 1-5 Steelers
Cup QF 2nd Leg on 20th December
All tickets just £8 for the return fixture at the arena
Can the Steelers make the semi finals of the Challenge Cup
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Steelers Back Home on Saturday
Vs Guildford Flames at 7pm – Utilita Arena