After a 0 point weekend, the Sheffield Steelers were quickly back in action on a Tuesday night in the Challenge Cup, for what hopefully would be the last time we would face the Dundee Stars. With the four-man system back in place once more, Tom Pering and Andrew Miller in charge and Danny Beresford and Paul Staniforth on the lines, it could’ve been an interesting game.
Sheffield was without Levi Nelson and Kieran Brown for this midweek matchup, which meant the lines were going to be changed, and my goodness, they were constantly being rotated throughout the game, Thompson trying Shudra, O’Connor, and Matheson up front at different points in the night.
The first period was a quick and quiet one with only one penalty at 8:07, Colton Fretter for interference. It was pretty end to end, Sheffield not running into much trouble as they already had the five-goal cushion from last Wednesday. In theory, the game was already won, so there wasn’t much need to go out all guns blazing.
The second period wasn’t really underway until Robert Dowd finished Joey DeConcilys at the boards. This lead to Mastrodicasa going after Dowd in a scrap, which Rob easily won with a fair few right-handers. Dundee came off worse from the fight, being given a 5 minute fighting major and 2+10 for instigation compared to Dowd’s 2 for charging and 5 for fighting. It was the spark the Steelers needed, and it sure got the team going.
Miika Franssila started off the rush with 2:30 remaining in the period, getting his first goal for the Steelers, and it was a stunner at that! Atta boy Miika for your first Steelers goal. Matt Marquardt left it until there were 14 seconds left in the period to get back to scoring beautiful goals, however, it put the Steelers 2-0 up (9-2 aggregate score) with 20 minutes to go.
The final period was the battle of the backups, the Steelers replacing Ervins Mustukovs with Brad Day and the Stars replacing Travis Fullerton with Craig Holland. By the halfway mark, the home side had battered the Stars, scoring 4 evenly spread unanswered goals, Marquardt getting a second, Fitzgerald his first of the season, Roy, and O’Connor adding to their tallies. It seemed as Zack and Rob had switched roles for the night, Fitzgerald doing the goal scoring and Dowd doing the fighting, hang on, isn’t that usually the other way round?!
Whoever shouted the word shutout at 58:44 won’t be in my good books, as Justin Fox was the man to break the shutout on the night, making it 6-1 with not long left in the game. This finished as a 13-3 aggregate score, meaning Omar Pacha was now 0 in 25 against the Steelers, and the Stars 0 in 22 at home! Now the series was finished between the two teams, fingers crossed, the final score overall was 41-11 in favor of the Steelers throughout a spread of 6 games.
Sheffield is to move through to a one-game weekend on Saturday night where they take on former Steeler, Christoffer Bjorklund, and the Braehead Clan for the last time this season at the Sheffield Arena. 7 pm faceoff. I’ll be there, will you?
Man of the Matches~
Dundee Stars: Justin Fox
Sheffield Steelers: Matt Marquardt
Matt Marquardt 2+0, Ben O’Connor 1+1, Mathieu Roy 1+1, Zack Fitzgerald 1+0, Miika Franssila 1+0, Mark Matheson 0+2, Jonas Westerling 0+2, Scott Aarssen 0+1, Robert Dowd 0+1, Andreas Jamtin 0+1, Liam Kirk 0+1.
Justin Fox 1+0, Gabriel Levesque 0+1, Marc-Oliver Mimar 0+1.