Sweet return for Adams as Steelers banish Devils

Coach Gerad Adams happy to have won at his old club - pictured last season
Coach Gerad Adams happy to have won at his old club - pictured last season
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Steelers have suffered an unexpected cash-flow setback at the start of their season...but on the ice, things are looking pretty good.

Last night, they triumphed 3-2 at Cardiff Devils in a game where all the goals were sandwiched into a 10-minute period.

But financially, they have been battered by continuing infrastructure problems with Sheffield Arena’s ice pad.

A leak under the ice has turned out to be more difficult than expected to mend.

Now Steelers, who had to postpone last Saturday’s game with Dundee, will have to switch their “home” opener on Sunday to iceSheffield, which means small revenue at a time when they need money.

Season ticket holders, too are penalised in the short term, as they will have to pay to watch Sheffield take on Fife Flyers.

The club will arrange a suitable date for them to watch an Arena game for free that they would ordinarily pay for (perhaps a Challenge Cup quarter final.)

The inconvenience had threatened to pour icy water on Steelers’ start to the campaign.

But last night’s win, at a notoriously difficult rink, has heightened early season expectations.

Steelers took three times as many penalties as the home side in the early period.

Among them was Pascal Morency, who took his new club’s first roughing minor of the 2014-15 campaign.

The first goal came at 21;22, former AHL centre Joey Martin scoring from Andrew Hotham, to bring the 1,886 inside Cardiff Arena to their feet.

But the Welsh were quietened by a stunning double-strike, two goals in 16 seconds.

Left winger Mathieu Roy, 27, scored his first goal for Sheffield, with another new boy Michael Forney assisting.

Then Jason Hewitt profited from work from ex-Devil Phil Hill to make it 2-1 for Steelers at 25;05, scoring past Cardiff netminder, Ben Bowns, the 23-year-old from Swinton.

Ownership of the game again seemed to be changing hands again, with Chris Culligan tying it at 2-2, short-handed. Yet Sheffield exerted more pressure and the ex-Florida Everblades skipper Roy added a second to his tally, at 31;36.

Jay Latulippe, at his old club in a Steelers’ jersey for the first time, hit the post in the final session.

In the final 10 minutes Steelers braced themselves for Cardiff to throw the kitchen sink at them, despite the fact the Welsh had had been involved in a long match the night before, beating Hull Stingrays 3-2 in overtime.

It had been a hot-tempered affair. And Devils were hampered when 6ft 2ins defenceman Trevor Hendrikx was handed a 2 plus 10 penalty for checking to the head.

There was no way back for Cardiff - which meant a memorable first trip back from Wales for Steelers coach Gerad Adams.