In the final Sheffield Steelers match report and article of 2017, I would just like to start off with a thank you to all my followers and readers over the last three months since the account started up back in October. In the three months, this account has been running, I have released 41 different articles, overall receiving 3,076 views. I would just like to say a huge thank you to every single person who has taken the time to read one of my pieces of work as I have received much more support than expected. I am very excited for what 2018 has to offer, with more interviews, match reports, and other articles, and I am looking forward to having you all on board my journey as I continue to match report and update new pieces of work as we head into the New Year. I would like to wish all my followers a Happy New Year, and I hope you enjoy the closing report of 2017.
Ervins Mustukovs was currently on a 241 minute and 28-second shutout, which broke the EIHL record with a three-game streak, so was that to be continued tonight, or would the Storm break the tie once more? With Steve Brown in charge of another Sheffield game and Danny Beresford and Paul Staniforth on the lines, it could be an interesting one, especially as the New Years Storm Classic can sometimes get a little out of control.
The Steelers were without Kieran Brown and John Armstrong through injury, in which during the first period it was announced by Bob Westerdale that the Steelers would more than likely be without him for the rest of the season as he injured his hand during the fight which took place in Nottingham on Wednesday. Zack Fitzgerald was out for just one game, serving his third man in suspension, however, is to thankfully return New Year’s Day. The Storm were just down two men in Chris Auger who was still injured, and one of their backup netminders Ashley Smith. It was to be an interesting night for both teams, as well as more record-breaking taking place.
Sheffield got off to a rocketing start as none other than the Golden Child, Robert Dowd, fired the puck past Clemente to set the Steelers 1-0 up, 1:28 into the game. The play fairly end to end, both teams getting shots on target. The line of Valdix, Dowd, and Nelson were working hard as well and had to be the best line of the night by a country mile, the only line scoring all night. If it wasn’t for Ervins Mustukovs, the Storm probably would’ve had a couple in that period with the way they were working, but excellent shot blocks were made to close out the Storm.
If you thought Dowd’s goal came early, check out Andreas Valdix scoring 0:59 into the second to give the Steelers double the advantage. It was a beautifully taken shot, and to double Sheffield’s advantage was another plus. Due to Armstrong being injured, it did mean Shudra was getting more time up front, so he could showcase what he was capable of.
Just past the halfway mark of the game, Manchester started to goon it up like the last time they played in Sheffield. It is a shame how they do that most of the time as when they play hockey, it is a very talented Manchester Storm side. Penalties came raining in for Manchester, as continued in the final period.
The Steelers dominated the most part of the first ten minutes of the final period as they refused to go along with the games Manchester were playing, as they couldn’t afford to be any more men down than they were now. With two minutes remaining in the game, Dowd sniped his second past Clemente to finish off the night and a 3-0 victory. Just over a minute later, Fretter smashed a fourth home, however, it was wiped out due to Sheffield having too many men on the ice.
Mark Matheson was sent face first into the boards with 5 seconds to go, a dirty, cheap play from Linden Springer of the Storm. However, Tim Wallace stepped in to take care of the mess, fighting Springer past the buzzer and getting the takedown. It was probably best that Fitzgerald wasn’t out there, otherwise, we may have had a repeat of the events which occurred in Nottingham. Matheson came out of the game with a broken nose, however, it is likely that it won’t stop him playing. Thompson has also admitted he will be sending the video to DOPS to get a review on the unnecessary occurrence.
The game finished with another shutout for the Moose, making it back to back to back to back now and lengthening the EIHL record to 301.28 minutes, almost catching up to the all-time AHL record of 304.11 minutes, which is an unbelievable achievement! So, the last game of 2017 was a great one for the Steelers rounding off a phenomenal year of ups and downs within the club, however moving on to 2018 on a positive note will keep great spirit in the team and keep them going for New Year’s Day in Altrincham which is going to be a completely different story!
Man of the Matches-
Manchester Storm- No one! This is due to the fact that there were a couple of altercations after the buzzer and Manchester were too unsportsmanlike to accept the award, so they just made their way off the ice.
Sheffield Steelers- Ervins Mustukovs
Robert Dowd 2+1, Levi Nelson 0+2, Andreas Valdix 1+0, Scott Aarssen 0+1, Mark Matheson 0+1, Tim Wallace 0+1