Belfast Giants 0-4 Sheffield Steelers: Big comeback win for Aaron Fox's men

Sheffield Steelers showed their true potential on Saturday night as they beat champions Belfast Giants 4-0 in Northern Ireland.

By Bob Westerdale
Sunday, 8th December 2019, 8:58 am
Steeler Eric Meland takes on a Belfast attacker Brian Ward
Steeler Eric Meland takes on a Belfast attacker Brian Ward

On Friday night, they had been underpar against the same opposition and had paid a hefty price.But goals from Brendan Connolly, Davey Phillips, Marco Vallerand and Eric Meland, allied to a shut out from Tomas Duba put the away support into raptures.Twenty four hours earlier, Steelers had been second-best for most of the 60 minutes.At the end of Friday's game, they had lost 6-2 and Giants had galloped into second place.But they set off on Saturday night's round two with the same speed the Irish had displayed the night before.Connolly scored for the visitors after just 34 seconds, unassisted, the goal surviving a review.And the away side, chastened by Friday's performance, perhaps, dominated an otherwise scoreless first period.Both sides suffered penalties at the start of the second season, Curtis Hamilton called for slashing and Anthony DeLuca for a face off violation.Then David Goodwin was ordered off for slashing, as the game became increasingly tetchy.Liam Reddox, who netted twice on Friday night against Steelers, cracked in a shot on Tomas Duba, but the Czech goaltender had it covered all the way.Giants spent another four minutes killing penalties, with a too-many-men call followed by Ciaran Long called for hooking.But the home side didn't concede and could have levelled when Ryan Lowney hit the pipework.The start of the final session was a painful one for Lucas Sandstrom, the Sheffield forward was hurt behind the net and had to go off the ice for treatmentBut that didn't stop defenceman Phillips smashing in a rare goal to put Sheffield 2-0 up at 44:54, unassisted.Steelers now had some defending to do, if they were going to secure both points.With a piece of rink plexi-glass in need of repair, coach Aaron Fox gave his men the final briefing, during the hold-up.They did what was instructed and topped it all with empty net goal from Vallerand and another from Eric Meland with 18 seconds left.

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