A SLOPPY and strangely passive Challenge Cup performance by Steelers ended, at least, in a penalty shoot out win last night.
Steelers were dominated and subdued by Cardiff for long periods of the game.
At times, the team seems to lack chemistry.
And after losing four of their last six games, the fans had needed a shot in the arm.
They got it in the end, from defenceman Drew Fata who scored the decisive penalty shot after the regulation hour and overtime ended in a 3-3 tie.
Steelers had plotted an all-action start and yet neither side had a shot for the first five minutes - and then it was visitor Mac Faulkner who hit the outside of Sheffield’s post.
It was another two minutes before the home side carved out any sort of chance, Lee Esders forcing a Phil Osaer save.
Gradually Ryan Finnerty’s men slowly started finding their range, although they were fortunate that Luke
Piggott’s effort again pinged the wrong side of the home goalpost.
Sheffield took the lead on their second power play. Left-hander Fata fired in from the right point for his third goal of the season.
Devils were Ben Davies fired across John DeCaro to equalise and Tyson Marsh let rip a cracker over the goalie’s left-shoulder.
Having lost the lead and looking decidely wobbly, Sheffield needed a stroke of luck to get back into it.
They got it when Shawn Limpright’s shot bounced off Mark Smith’s skate into the net for 2-2, at 29:51.
Two minutes later Steelers were ahead for a second time, Steve Goertzen’s low drive from the left flank zipping into the far side of the net.
Devils had so much of the puck that they looked like the home team in the third session.
Chances fell to Stuart Macrae and Adam Harding, but they couldn’t execute.
When Steelers were caught two-on-one in their own zone, Finnerty called a Time Out to try and restore order.
But the Welsh scored a deserved equaliser with seven minutes left through Macrae.
An off-colour Jeff Legue could have won the game in overtime, but it went to penalty shots, and man of the match Fata did what was required.