The 'really cool experience' that this Sheffield Steeler wants to repeat

There is a special place in Ryan Martinelli's heart for the Challenge Cup.

Monday, 10th December 2018, 8:23 am
Updated Monday, 10th December 2018, 8:25 am
Ryan Martinelli

The Sheffield Steelers' defenceman was in the Belfast Giants' team last year that stunned reigning champions Cardiff Devils, beating them in the final in their own rink, 6-3.

He and goalie Jackson Whistle were cup champions despite their side trailing in the first and second periods.

Ryan Martinelli

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Martinelli now wants to experience the thrill again, with Steelers.

And on Wednesday, they host Guildford Flames in the first leg of the quarter-final, the second leg away on December 19.

Martinelli described the win in Wales as "a really cool experience.

"Going into Cardiff, beating them in their own rink, they were top of the table at that point, we just played a fantastic game.

Ryan Martinelli pictured at the win at Dundee on Sunday. Pic by Derek Black

"Those one-off games are pretty special. They are pretty fun to play in.

"It (a final) can go either way, really, it depends on a hot goalie or if someone has a really hot start.

"Winning the Challenge Cup last year was an unbelievable experience.

"We had a great group of guys there in Belfast last year that managed to pull it off; it was awesome.

"Hopefully we are hoping to get past Guildford in the first step - we're am not going to look past them - and see where we go."

Steelers will be filled with confidence after their come-from-behind heroics at Dundee Stars on Sunday.

They were 0-2 down with just over a minute left, but pulled the game back and won in overtime.

Coach Tom Barrasso said: 'Our goaltender (Matt Climie) was outstanding. He gave us every opportunity to find our game.

'As a group, we have tried to develop the mentality of '˜stay in the fight'.

'Even when things are not going smoothly, keep working and driving forward with our game.

'While not orthodox to score two 6vs5 goals to tie a game, it should give us confidence moving forward it is possible if we stay in the fight.'