Storm Win Closes Gap At The Top Of Table – Steelers 3:5 Storm

Game Summary

With Robert Dowd out of action tonight, Kevin Tansey was once again wearing the “C” for the Steelers. However, it was the visiting Storm who came out victorious as the gap at the top of the Elite League table closed with the second placed Devils coming out victorious over the Panthers.

The Steelers came from behind on two occasions in the first to head into the second all-square, but the Storm maintained the lead after getting in-front during the second period despite a short-lived comeback in the third via a Mark Simpson short-handed effort.

First Period [2-2]

The Steelers happy to get out of the first period all square at two apiece as the visiting Manchester Storm had the better of the opening twenty minute, outshooting the Steelers by 19 to 7 on target.

Patrick Harper with the first effort of the evening which nearly had the Steelers up within the first couple of minutes as his shot rung off the upright of Evan Weninger with Matt Greenfield then coming up big at the other end diving forward to cover the puck.

However, the pressure told on the Steelers as the Storm hemmed them into their own zone and got the opening goal at (4.28). The puck falling kindly to Storm defenceman, Joe Morrow who slammed it home into Greenfield’s net from in between the face-off circles.

An assist of the season got the Steelers back level over 10 minutes later at (15.03) as Josh Nicholls looked to round the net but fed it back through his legs in front to find Mikko Jussola who then found the gap on Weninger. Captain for the night, Kevin Tansey with the secondary assist.

The lead was very short lived for the Steelers however, with the Storm back leading within 25 seconds at (15.28), this time via Storm captain, Cam Critchlow with a tip from an extremely tight angle which just beat Greenfield over the left shoulder.

After killing off a Tansey slashing penalty, the Steelers were awarded with a powerplay of their own as Juusola was taken down at centre ice by Raymond Brice who was sent to the box for tripping. It was the spark the Steelers needed to get themselves back level again, and second of the period for Mikko Juusola at (19.06) who was once again close to the blue paint of Weninger and battled a bouncing puck to send home another equaliser.

Second Period [2-3]

A sole goal for the Storm in the second period giving the visitors the lead heading into the final period of regulation.

Despite heading into the final twenty behind, the Steelers arguably having the better of the second period, certainly catching up on the shot count with the Storm only adding 6 on Greenfield compared to the 15 sent in Weninger.

A complete freak goal to put the Storm ahead at (33.32) with Zach Sullivan firing the puck in from the blue line and deflecting off four Steelers players on route to the back of Greenfield’s goal with him having no chance of finding the path of the puck.

Physicality being upped by both teams towards the end of the period as both Josh Nicolls and Cam Crichlow were sent to the box for roughing behind the Manchester Storm goal but despite peppering Weninger goal with the extra man, the Steelers were unable to find the equaliser.

Third Period [3-5]

After killing off an early slashing penalty, the Storm found themselves two goals to the good at (47.44) with a complete freak goal leaving Greenfield no chance of following the puck. Zach Sullivan firing the puck in from the blue line and deflecting off four Steelers players on the way to the back of the Steelers goal.

It looked like the Steelers comeback could be sparked a man short when Sam Jones was called in the offensive zone for interference, setting Mark Simpson off down the left wing and finishing low on Weninger. Assisted Nevalainen.

But it wasn’t to be for the Steelers, even on another powerplay with Greenfield pulled, the 6 skaters were unable to find the right shot to beat the resilient Storm and any hope was ended at (59.19) as Cam Critchlow picked up the puck around his own blue line and skated down the ice to send the puck home into the empty net.

Awards & League Table

Ex- NHLer Joe Morrow was awarded with the Manchester Storm Man of the Match honour for his opening goal before Mikko Jussola picked up the award for the Steelers for his two goals on the night.

With the Cardiff Devils coming out victorious over the Nottingham Panthers this evening, the gap is closed to 9 points between first and second, with the Steelers holding a game in-hand.

Up Next

Up next is a trip up to Scotland tomorrow night to take on the Dundee Stars before returning home next Saturday for 4 home games in 8 days including a Belfast Giants double header and the Challenge Cup final against the Guildford Flames. 7pm face-off to start things off next Saturday against the Giants. See you then…!