Sheffield Steelers 5 Fife Flyers 1
BEATING up the smallest kid in the class brings little satisfaction when you have been well and truly bashed by classmates your own size.
But, in fairness, Steelers can only take on those that are put in front of them and they at least had the satisfaction of a ‘first half’ spanking of bottom club Fife Flyers, last night.
After being taken down by leaders Belfast Giants and third place Nottingham Panthers earlier this month, a re-shaped Sheffield outfit were handed an easier opponent at iceSheffield: the steeply descending Fife Flyers, who have won four matches in regular time out of 42 this term.
It enabled coach Ryan Finnerty to rest import goalie John DeCaro and unleash the full force of all his import skaters.
Steelers, with Geoff Woolhouse a spectator in goal, took only seven minutes to go ahead when Jonathan Phillips scored his second in four games.
At 15:41 the match seemed over as a contest when Neil Clark, thoroughly enjoying a spell back in the side, scored from Jason Hewitt and Mike Ramsay.
It was Ramsay who twisted the knife at the start of the second period.
He combined with his new linemates Hewitt and Clark to make it 3-0 and then set up Clark for his second of the night.
A fifth goal arrived at the half-way point from centreman Jeff Legue, after set up play from his wingers Colt King and Luke Fulghum.
And that was it! The home side eased their foot off the pedal in the second half of the evening.
Bizarrely the final goal came from the Scots, former roller hockey left winger Steve Gunn spoiling stand-in goalie Woolhouse’s shut-out hopes with a goal produced after good work from former Steeler Dan Ceman and d-man Tim Maxwell, at 54;42.
The win puts Ryan Finnerty’s team on 70 points, seven behind Belfast, with four games in hand.
Steelers have more three more Scottish adventures ahead - they play Braehead Clan on Friday, Fife again on Saturday and Edinburgh Capitals at home on Sunday (5pm).