Glasgow Clan 1-5 Sheffield Steelers

Steelers are overwhelming favourites to reach the Challenge Cup final - but they had to endure yet another injury.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 9:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 9:59 pm
Anthony DeLuca: could be out for weeks with right leg injury

Sheffield, strong defensively and ruthless offensively, won 5-1 in the semi final first leg at Glasgow.

Their third period performance was exceptional.

Winger Anthony DeLuca hobbled out of the rink on crutches though and will be out for a while.

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Steelers had Aaron Johnson back after long-term hand problems, Mathieu Roy was absent for the Clan, who handed a debut to Swede Marcus Jonsson.

The visitors' night had started badly, with DeLuca hurtling into the end boards and out of the game.

If that unsettled Sheffield, you wouldn't have known, with the visitors monopolising the early chances.

Lucas Sandstrom and Brendan Connolly went close and the only time the Braehead Arena fans had something to cheer about was when Linden Springer landed an aggressive check on John Armstrong.

Clan's first real threat came from Matt Stanisz; he bounced the puck off Tomas Duba's glove.

The best chance of the period fell to Chad Rau, but the teams were goalless at the first interval.

Clan boss Zack Fitzgerald had described the performance of some of his players in parts of last Sunday's 7-3 League defeat at Sheffield as "atrocious."

And they had to show some guts after going behind at 23:29.

Marco Vallerand correctly located the best place to poach a rebound off Patrick Killeen's pads.

Clan had been unfortunate one of their skaters had lost his stick in the run-up, but 69 seconds later they were back in it; Mikael Lidhammar's goal rewarding his energetic performance.

Defensively Steelers were then put under examination - and they stood the test, with Duba effortlessly picking one shot out of the air.

The final period delivered a peculiar but significant goal for Tanner Eberle.

The Steelers' No. 10, with no other options on, let go a speculative shot from the left flank, and the puck tore past Killeen and actually tore straight through the net for 2-1.

Eberle was certainly stepping up - his next contribution was to shoot off Killeen's blocker.

Glasgow were tired out by a long five-on-three power play and conceded another, to Eberle's tip in at 48:52. The Scots then collapsed.

They let in two more goals from Armstrong and Sandstrom.

Steelers need only now to do the basics to reach the final.